Ten Signs You’re Shooting Too Low In Your Job Search

 

Dear Liz,

 

I’ve been job-hunting since October. Maybe I was naive thinking my job search would be quick and easy. I’ve been in the insurance industry for over twenty years.

 

I’ve been an agent, an office manager and held almost every insurance job there is.

 

I’ve only had one in-person job interview so far. I’ve applied for numerous jobs but in the other cases I either got a phone interview or no interview.

 

They keep telling me I’m overqualified for the jobs I’m applying for. If I’m overqualified doesn’t that make me the perfect candidate, because I can obviously do the job?

 

I thought if I took my target position down a level or two from the last few jobs I’ve held, I would get hired much faster. I’m applying for jobs I performed fifteen years ago and I thought that would do the trick but it’s not working.

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I’m sick of job hunting. I would accept anything. I still have my savings and retirement accounts because I’ve been living frugally since October, but I’m tired of job-hunting and I want to be employed as fast as possible. What am I doing wrong?

 

 

Dear Harlan,

 

It sounds like you’re shooting too low in your job search, and that is almost always a show-stopper. Employers don’t want to hire people who could perform the job with one hand tied behind their back.

 

Here are some of the reasons why not:

 

  1. They are afraid you’ll quit for a better job the minute you have the opportunity to do so.

 

  1. They are afraid that even if you say “I’ll take this job, a lower-level role that pays less than I’ve earned since 2004 — no problem!” you won’t be happy. You’ll be antsy. They don’t need that.

 

  1. They want to hire someone they can train their own way.

 

  1. They get spooked by any candidate who seems to know more about the field than they do.

 

There could be an age-discrimination aspect depending on your age, but the key is that you are shooting too low and recruiters can tell that you’re doing so. They don’t want to hire somebody for whom this job is not a natural step along your career path.

 

How can we blame them for that? It’s fear that is making you shoot low in your job search and even though everyone can relate to that fear, the remedy for the fear is not to take any job you can get but to stop and think about what you do best and what you really want to do.

 

You have to do some reflection to figure out where your sweet spot lies — at the intersection of the things you do well, the things you love to do and the needs in the talent marketplace.

 

Your fearful mindset (“I still have my savings, but I’m sick of job-hunting and I want to be employed as fast as possible!”) is killing your job search.

 

People can read energy very well.

 

Fearful energy is not appealing in a senior-level candidate or any candidate. Your need to get hired fast is what’s artificially depressing your job-search altitude and keeping you from having the conversations you should be having with hiring managers in pain.

 

You have breathing room. You have your savings and retirement accounts. Take time to stop and figure out your next step. Give up the idea of getting any job at all. Employers want to hire somebody who is dying to do the job they’re hiring for — not somebody who’s merely willing to do the job because it represents a break from job-hunting.

 

Here are ten signs you’re shooting too low in your job search:

 

  1. Recruiters view your LinkedIn profile and say “Wow! You have lot of heavy-duty experience. Are you sure you’re interested in this much lower-level job?” They are skeptical. Do you think your hiring manager will be any less skeptical? Don’t use your precious mojo trying to talk anybody into interviewing you!

 

  1. When you show up for an interview or get on a call for a phone interview, the interviewer’s voice indicates surprise or puzzlement. They can’t match the person on the phone (you) with the job opening they’re ready to interview you for.

 

  1. Whenever you get a “no thanks” notice, it gushes about your vast experience and skills and closes with “….but we need someone with a background closer to the job spec.”

 

  1. Recruiters always express surprise that you’re willing to work for the salary number you give them. The gap between your expected salary target and your actual salary target is almost always a red flag for recruiters — whether you are asking for more or less money than the position pays.

 

  1. When you tell recruiters you’d be more than delighted to take a step down in your career they sound less than excited to hear it. Naturally they wonder “Why can’t this candidate get a job at their level?”

 

  1. On your job interviews, you answer every question with a precise, expert opinion on the spot. The interviewer is taken aback — maybe even intimidated. Most companies don’t hire people who intimidate their interviewers.

 

  1. You’ve heard at least one hiring manager say “Heck,you could do my job!” and they’re right.

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Millennials, Here’s Why Job Titles Don’t Matter Anymore

I can’t tell you how many times my Dad used to ask me about what exactly it was again that I was doing for a living.

Coming from the “black and white” world of accounting on Wall Street, he wasn’t satisfied with my answer that didn’t fit neatly into a box like lawyer, doctor, or teacher. As the founder of an online community, I was proud of my work and wanted badly to convey to my Dad what I was up to—but he always seemed to respond with a blank stare followed by defeated resignation.

 

 

What I’m finding is that I’m not the only one having this problem. In fact, the majority of the millennials I talk to today are opting for work that’s not clearly defined.

The millennial worker today wears many hats—whether that’s copywriter, marketer, sales strategist, or bookkeeper. We’re adaptive to the shifting demands of a fast-paced work environment and the skills we need to learn are often just a Google search away.

This week on the Unconventional Life Podcast, I interviewed one millennial woman who’s on the leading edge of nontraditional work and thriving.

Meet Tash Price, the business developer and manager of Engine House VFX, an award-winning UK-based 2-D, 3-D, CGI and VFX animation studio who has served clientele like BBC and Sony. Engine House VFX covers a wide range of projects within advertising, gaming, architectural visualization and film. Their work has been featured online, on TV, at events, and in films and games.

“You’ll get into the conversation of what you do for a living and you’ll say animation and people can’t quite seem to grasp it. They’ll quickly move on and they seem confused by it because it’s not the standard job role,” Price says.

But according to Price, the conversation doesn’t have to stop there. Rather than moving on, you can educate others about what you do in a way that promotes connection and redefines what it means to work in the 21st century.

I spoke with a number of other millennials who are finding fulfillment in nontraditional job roles, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Job Titles Don’t Reflect Lifestyle. In the past, jobs were much less integrated than they are today. Going to work meant punching in a time card at on office for a designated number of hours. Today, technology enables millennials to work seamlessly from their devices so that being “on” and “off” the clock is less rigid and more fused with lifestyle.
  • • Eric Termuende, an entrepreneur, speaker, and the author of Rethink Work, says, “With the capabilities of technology increasing so quickly, the ability to work from more places, using more devices, longer hours every day makes the job less about the seemingly limited title, and more about the holistic experience. In many cases, the title doesn’t encompass the life Millennials are living as a result of the job (or jobs) they are doing.”

Price’s animation studio is embodying this new “integrated” work model. ”Instead of having hundreds of people sitting behind a cubicle we have a small core team and we work with lots of freelancers who are based all over the world. It means everyone gets the lifestyle they want and we can hand-pick the artists we want for the job. We’ve got people working in Turkey, Sweden, Iran, the US, the Netherlands, Japan,” she says.

  • Job Titles Act As Constraints. Today’s millennial workers may have bigger ambitions than previous generations. Just a few decades ago, only a marginal percent of American workers held a college degree, and the majority of women preferred to stay at home.

As millennials tackle a host of global issues, both men and women are rising to the occasion with a shift towards businesses that do social justice. 92% of millennials believe businesses should be measured by more than profit. Undra Robinson, a millennial entrepreneur, says “Millennials believe our potential in life is limitless and want to change the world, and job titles only add constraints. They are polar opposites.”

Millennials Aren’t Motivated By Job Titles.

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25 cities adding (and losing) the most jobs in 2017

 

Here is a look at the five cities adding and losing the most jobs in 2017.

 

2017 may stand out for many events and developments, and among them is the exceptional year turned in by the labor market. For one, U.S. unemployment dropped to 4.1% in October, the lowest since December 2000.

Barring a massive exodus of workers from the labor force, falling unemployment almost always reflects increased hiring, which in turn bodes well for the economy. But while national conditions are favorable, trends vary substantially across the country, and not all local economies have been doing as well.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed monthly metro area employment figures in 2017 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From January through October, employment — the number of Americans currently employed — rose by 1.2%. Employment rose faster over that period in 187 of the nation’s 388 metro areas. It declined in 78 metro areas.

Most of the cities adding the most jobs in 2017 reported uninterrupted employment increases over the course of the year, but this was not always the case. Both Yuma, Arizona and Corvallis, Oregon reported among the largest employment increases this year, yet had some fairly dramatic employment fluctuations. In Yuma, for example, seasonally adjusted employment levels dropped for four consecutive months in the summer before rising again in September and October.

More: Best- and worst-run states in America: Which one is top rated?

More: These are the 5 worst cities for Black Americans

Similarly, while the trend in most cities losing the most jobs was one of steady decline, in several job changes were somewhat erratic. Employment in the St. Joseph metro area, on the border of Montana and Kansas, for example, surged in July before dropping in October.

 

 

25 cities adding the most jobs in 2017

 

 

 

1. Bellingham, WA Employment change: 5,609 (+5.5%) Jan. 2017 employment: 102,069 Oct. 2017 employment: 107,678 Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.5% Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+16.9% employment chg.)  

 

25 cities adding the most jobs in 2017

 

Cities adding the most jobs

25. Janesville-Beloit, Wisc.

Employment change: 2,826 (+3.5%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 80,978

Oct. 2017 employment: 83,804

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.4%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+11.5% employment chg.)

24. Corvallis, Ore.

Employment change: 1,627 (+3.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 45,537

Oct. 2017 employment: 47,164

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.3% (lowest 25%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+8.3% employment chg.)

23. Yuma, Ariz.

Employment change: 2,883 (+3.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 79,504

Oct. 2017 employment: 82,387

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 17.4% (highest 10%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+4.5% employment chg.)

22. Johnson City, Tenn.

Employment change: 3,147 (+3.7%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 84,679

Oct. 2017 employment: 87,826

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6%

Strongest sector: Government (+11.1% employment chg.)

21. Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

Employment change: 9,377 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 249,982

Oct. 2017 employment: 259,359

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.5%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+8.2% employment chg.)

20. Eugene, Ore.

Employment change: 6,475 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 172,152

Oct. 2017 employment: 178,627

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.6%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+13.7% employment chg.)

19. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

Employment change: 46,621 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 1,230,028

Oct. 2017 employment: 1,276,649

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.2%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+19.4% employment chg.)

18. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.

Employment change: 4,366 (+3.9%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 111,618

Oct. 2017 employment: 115,984

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.6%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+7.1% employment chg.)

17. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.

Employment change: 6,466 (+4.1%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 158,952

Oct. 2017 employment: 165,418

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.4%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+9.1% employment chg.)

16. Auburn-Opelika, Ala.

Employment change: 2,938 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 70,002

Oct. 2017 employment: 72,940

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.1% (lowest 25%)

Strongest sector: Government (+10.9% employment chg.)

15. Bend-Redmond, Ore.

Employment change: 3,684 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 87,205

Oct. 2017 employment: 90,889

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.2%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+22.8% employment chg.)

 

14. Morristown, TN Employment change: 2,043 (+4.2%) Jan. 2017 employment: 48,359 Oct. 2017 employment: 50,402 Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6% Strongest sector: Education and health services (+14.5% employment chg.)  (Photo: Home4tnindustry / Wikimedia Commons)

 

14. Morristown, Tenn.

Employment change: 2,043 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 48,359

Oct. 2017 employment: 50,402

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6%

Strongest sector: Education and health services (+14.5% employment chg.)

13. Olympia-Tumwater, Wash.

Employment change: 5,548 (+4.4%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 125,170

Oct. 2017 employment: 130,718

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.7%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+18.8% employment chg.)

12. Longview, Wash.

Employment change: 1,885 (+4.5%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 41,617

Oct. 2017 employment: 43,502

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 5.6% (highest 25%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+6.5% employment chg.)

11. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.

Employment change: 43,392 (+4.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 949,989

Oct. 2017 employment: 993,381

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 2.4% (lowest 10%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+7.2% employment chg.)

 

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5 job trends to watch for in 2018

The job market is healthy but changing.

While some industries and many individuals continue to struggle, 2017 saw the job market get even stronger.

Unemployment reached record lows and despite two major hurricanes and an uncertain political landscape, the economy added 1.9 million new jobs as of November.

 

In some professions (though not all), this has led to what could be described as a war for talent. That’s true in some technology jobs, healthcare, e-commerce, and key professional services, according to data from Glassdoor. In fact, as the year comes to a close, the jobs and recruiting site reported that there are a record 6.1 million open jobs in the United States today.

That does not mean the labor market is all good or in any way stagnant. The types of workers needed has begun to change. That’s something Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain addresses in the company’s What’s Ahead for Jobs? Five Disruptions to Watch in 2018 report.

 

“Although the nation’s labor market is strong heading into 2018, average wages for many remain stubbornly flat and a stark divide remains in who benefits from continued job growth, with tech skills earning a premium and many other jobs facing significant changes with the rise of AI and automation,” said Chamberlain.

 

What five trends are on tap?

If you are currently in the workforce or plan to enter it or change jobs in 2018, there are some things you need to know. Not all of these will have an immediate impact in the new year. Some will take time while others are already becoming evident.

 

 

AI is changing the future of work: In 2017 we began to see hints of this with fast food chains adding ordering kiosks and warehouses using automated order pickers. This trend will accelerate in the coming year.

Modernization of mobile job applications: In general, while it’s possible to apply for some jobs from a mobile device, it’s not practical. That’s going to change as companies create tools to reflect how people use devices.

Job growth in healthcare, technology, and labor-intensive roles: As the U.S. population ages, demand for healthcare workers will increase. Technology job growth has already started and labor-intensive jobs — specifically ones that don’t make sense to automate — will grow as well.

Increased transparency in the application and interview process:

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