5 Ways to Defy the Downturn


Insights for launching a career are featured in the current issue of Business Week, which I recommend to recent graduates and students who will be seeking jobs in 2010.  The September 14 issue carries several career-related articles as well as a listing of the top 50 employers as ranked by pay, benefits and training programs. 

The article provides encouraging news for those lucky enough to land jobs, noting that they will find an excellent environment for assuming responsibility and rapid advancement.  But entry level hiring was down across the board during the first six months of the year with only one in five who applied for a job successfully landing one.  Business Week also notes that salary levels are contracting. 

Hardest-hit industries for entry-level hiring during the first half of 2009 compared to the first six months of last year were:

  • Hospitality                      -76.3%
  • Technology                     -55.4%
  • Transportation              -41.6%
  • Investment Banking    -39.3%
  • Telecommunications  – 30.8%

The magazine offers five excellent suggestions to help new employees defy the current economic downturn.  Although aimed at new hires, these tips provide insights that can be adapted by anyone seeking employment now or in the future:

  1. Get Ambitious.  Be prepared to work long hours, take on difficult tasks, and relocate if necessary.  A raise?  Don’t hold your breath.
  2. Get Positioned.  Identify bosses who are moving up or are overwhelmed.  Then volunteer to help.
  3. Get Creative.  Suggest ways to save your company money or generate new revenue–and play a role in the effort.
  4. Get Noticed.  Recessions are no time to fly under the radar.  Tell bigwigs about achievements but avoid shameless self-promotion.
  5. Get Networked.  Be indispensable.  Work with other units and stay in touch with new-found allies–you may need them later.

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