Today a friend from who worked at a Designer Apparel company called me somewhat depressed. His company closed their showroom and he has been out of work for 4 months without any prospects for work. I felt his pain and asked him to join me for lunch so we could figure out his next step. Over lunch I asked him how he was feeling. Frustrated, concerned, worried, and wondering if he would find work were some of the emotions. He did everything you are taught to do when looking for a job. He had called everyone he knew, went on line to see what jobs were posted, sent resumes everywhere, but to no avail. Well, my first step was to change his attitude. Because feeling the way he was feeling was not going to help him one bit. Then I asked him where the opportunity was in this challenge? How could he turn it around so that his next position was perfect and soon? By the time we were done he had the beginnings of a great plan which if he follows through (which knowing him I believe he will) could give him his own business, that he would love, with the potential to earn oodles of money. I also told him to get the book “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield to help him bring his plan to fruition. Which brings me to the basic concept which is: “Where is the opportunity in every challenge that you have?” Remember the right attitude is a big part of succeeding.
With the economy being what it is today every industry is fighting for survival and the fashion industry is no exception. Fashion is the only industry where styles go “out” of fashion and then they come back “in”. In a sense it is a very volatile and fickle industry. And in to this whirlpool of movement and the ins and the outs of fashion came The Recession.
With this economic scenario what is a person to do? Jobs are essential as more often than not, based on the take-home people are paying off mortgages, credit debts and loans. All your regular tried and tested ways of getting another job when the job market is so tight are sometimes in vain. You would really then need to sit back and take a long hard look at your methods and come up with something where you get a job and one that you enjoy that meets your career expectations.
Finding a job during recession need not mean you have to compromise to an extent you feel you are short changing yourself. It just means you have to find a way to get a foot in the almost closed door and make it open for you. Employers are now looking to boost their revenue potential and one way you could present yourself as a potential candidate is to focus on companies that are still growing. If your resume highlights your successes rather than your oh-so long list of qualifications then you stand a better chance at getting the second call. “Over-qualified” is a curse during recession because the more your degrees and diplomas the more prospective employers feel you are looking for a large pay package. Don’t forget, people are still buying clothes, shoes, handbags whatever just not as much. The fashion industry cannot come to a grinding halt we just have to continue wading their way through the recession period so cost cutting is paramount in our thinking.
You want that job and you want that the employers should notice your resume among the thousands they receive. Don’t fall in to the old trap of sending out a standard resume to a large number of companies. Doing this means you have given all companies an open invite to your resume thereby negating its potential value and you are commoditizing yourself. Your resume needs to stand out.
Jamie Varon 23, had her heart set on working at Twitter. She already applied for a position on the companies website. She had asked a friend at Google to put a good word in for her. She even showed up at the company’s web site with a bag of cookies in an effort to charm the recruiter into meeting with her. All to no avail. What she did next was sheer brilliance. She created a web site called twittershouldhireme.coom which included her resume and recommendations plus a blog which detailed her quest. Within 24 hours the company contacted her and she had a meeting set up at Twitter. She also received two job offers from other tech companies that had noticed her site. Talk about thinking outside the box. This is the kind of thinking you need to do in order to stand out from the crowd.
Your first move should be to make a list of what kind of job you really want. Design the job in your head. Than write down what it looks like down to the details of what you will be doing each day, how you will dress, and what you will be paid. Don’t let fear take over. By taking time off to detail what you are looking for you are giving yourself a vision of what your next job is. Than start looking at companies that fit the bill. Once you have narrowed them down to the top 15 – 20 companies, next start your campaign to find a job in those companies. Again be creative, look for companies that are doing well and growing. There is always someone doing good business in every kind of economy.
Four years ago I found myself unemployed. The division I ran for 17 years was being closed and there wasn’t another position being offered. This was a crushing blow as I thought of this company as my home. While I was incredibly upset on the day it happened the next day I found myself excited by the possibilities. Wow, I could reinvent myself. Four years later I have an even better position as President of a major celebrity brand with a very successful company making more money than at my previous company. Again having the right attitude is a major part of the process.
The next step is your resume. Seek help from professional resume writers. Remember if you reveal everything about you in the resume then you are giving the reader an open invite to make snap decisions. Matters are complicated enough what with your resume having to clear three levels in one go, the junior HR recruiter who is working on key words, the next level manager who is looking for experience and skills and finally the actual recruitment person who has to ensure you are the right foot for the shoe. A sluggish economy requires that your resume must fit every framework. Be exact and not vague in detailing your eligibility. They are looking for people who can think on their feet and offer viable solutions not general ideas.
Your aim is to let your prospective employer know you are flexible, your experience can only bring positive results to your new job, you are able to read situations, take required action and get positive results whenever the need arises. If you feel you can start at a lower salary for a short period on the condition that you will get an increment when the economy settles, be open to it. This indicates your willingness to adjust to the constraints the company is facing. It is always more important to take the best position than the most money as that is what will make your career more successful. In the fashion industry there are always people jumping from job to job with no staying power. Those peoples career always self destructs eventually. You need a home not just a paycheck. The money always comes as you grow in your career.
Now you have the interview. What are the next steps? You need to sell yourself in the interview the same way you would sell any product. Make a presentation on how you would benefit the company and fulfill their needs. Do your research. Know the company, know the job and it’s requirements and than show how your experience and strengths would solve their challenges. Show examples of how you have done this in the past. Be open and friendly in an interview and do not bring up any negative points. Do not tell them how hard it is to find a job, do not trash your old company or boss. Be very positive. Prospective employers want to work with pleasant people. I always wonder about negative people and have never hired one. I look for people who really want the job but are not desperate for the job.
Getting a job during recession is not an impossible task. All it requires is a little effort on your part, a little patience and some clear ideas on how you can bring opportunity to your doorstep.
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