Chicago — Aug. 28
Labor Day kicks off what is typically a more volatile employment environment, as companies adjust payrolls to align with year-end goals and plans for the coming year.
This makes it the ideal time for workers and job seekers alike to reboot their efforts to find or keep a job, according to global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
“For many companies, business activity declines during the summer months, as sales slow and key decision makers take off for vacations,” said John A. Challenger, the firm’s chief executive. “The pace tends to quicken as the year comes to a close as companies scramble to hit earnings goals and establish objectives for the new year. As a result, it is not unusual to see a flurry of employment changes in the final four months of the year.”
Challenger said this is the perfect time for year for workers to come with Labor Day resolutions.
To Keep Your Job
Seek more responsibility. Volunteer for challenging tasks and exhibit a take-charge attitude. By assuming additional responsibilities, you demonstrate how you can increase value for the corporation.
Meet your boss’s boss. At the next company event, go out of your way to meet those at least two rungs higher on the corporate ladder. They are the ones who can advance your career.
Join a company committee. Whether it is a committee developing new workplace policies or simply planning the company holiday party, joining or volunteering can help you build relationships with other people in your company whom you might otherwise never meet.
Find and/or become a mentor. Mentoring and being mentored provide perspectives and new ideas about career goals and how to achieve them.
Align individual and company goals. Evaluate your company’s goals and identify the similarities and differences in comparison to your personal career objectives. Look to bridge the gap in differences by attending meetings and company-offered development courses. This illustrates your willingness to be on board with the company’s future plans.
Discover ways to save money. Find ways to increase efficiency and performance while decreasing costs. This is especially important in a time when employers are looking for ways to reduce spending.
Become an expert on one facet of your field. It is important to be a generalist, but knowing more than anyone else on a specific issue or topic will help make you the “go-to” person for anyone in the company who has a question on that area. This specialized knowledge makes you extremely valuable and should be covered in your resume.
To Find a Job
Join LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, et al. More companies are searching the Internet for more information about candidates, so create a professional looking page that tells them you are exceptional.
Remove/Cover tattoos. While body art is becoming more common and more accepted in some offices, many still find it unprofessional.
Get involved with community service group. This is a great way to build your network as well as hone your professional skills.
Join a professional/trade association. These organizations can provide training and education opportunities and most hold several networking functions every year.
Meet 10 new people in your field but outside of your company. Building these relationships may help you in your current position and they will definitely help when you enter the job market.
Rev up your skills. Build upon your established skill set. Explore online courses and local certificate programs to broaden your industry knowledge, increasing your marketability to a variety of employers.
Stay positive and be patient. Job searches are never easy, but it can be particularly daunting in a downturn economy. By maintaining a positive attitude and exhibiting patience, you can overcome the emotional barriers that could lengthen your search.
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.