Lose a job, create a career

March 25, 2009

Being a smart job seeker is a lot like being an entrepreneur. You need to read the tea leaves and the landscape, see where there are unmet needs or underserved populations and pounce. So much of success is about recognizing opportunities and the willingness to take risks in order to pursue them.


I’ve received three messages in under a week from people using the identical phrase…”my position has been eliminated.” While there can be a tendency to focus on this notion of being eliminated, it is more productive to remember the law of matter. The law of matter states that “mass cannot be created/destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space, and changed into different types of particles.” Similarly, for every one of the jobs being eliminated or made obsolete, there is another opportunity opening.

Being a job seeker at this time is very much like being a good sales person…understand the underserved needs of the prospects, see a way that you can uniquely support the prospect and PERSISTENTLY make your case. The places you’ve become experienced and comfortable may be changing the way they staff their businesses, but trust that other businesses are looking for an injection of talent, instinct, energy and proficiency as well. Good places to look to find those opportunities include:

* Lists of underserved professions that universities are desperate to stock their classrooms with. Somehow we never have enough pharmacists or nurses. See this story about the impact of the nursing shortage.

* Lists of the top recession proof businesses. These include businesses that do better when everyone else does worse–such as collections agencies, credit counselors and refinance specialists. Take a look at this list of the Top 25 careers to pursue in a recession.

* Lists of top growing industries by revenue. These business top the revenue charts because presumably they serve the masses or their price point is high and worth it. Just make sure these industries are centered in your region. BNET features articles on many industries including this one for the food industry. Other listings, such as this one from Inc., rank metro areas by median revenue.

* Lists of top companies based on innovation. Entrepreneurs and innovators build the future. Surround yourself with them, and you’ll likely be somewhere that is changing and expanding rather than contracting and stagnating. Take a look at the Fast Company 2009 Fast 50.

* List of underserved populations/consumers. Perhaps more forward-thinking than a supply-side view of growth is a demand side view. We know that with Boomers aging out there is increased demand for elder care, aging services, and a variety of things that seniors may not have demanded before…like cosmetic surgery, personal trainers, computer support and more. See what the Mature Market has to say about these trends.

* List of top private companies in your area. People spend plenty of time looking at public companies, review their financials, picking apart the details of their operations and being convinced that public means “safe”. As a matter of fact, public companies move to the beat of a LOT of drummers and can sometimes be less secure or employee-centric than private companies. Perhaps the Inc. 5000 lists a few notable companies in your area.

* Lists of the most admired companies. There are plenty of companies around right now with a boatload of haters. Most admired companies are doing something really right. Take a look at these companies profiled by Fortune Magazine.

Perhaps the best thing to do when someone has eliminated your job is to create your career. Go for more than a paycheck by stepping back and asking yourself what you are truly passionate about. Match your passion to your payroll pursuit and you’ll be creating something far better than a job. You may be creating a career, a company, an industry or an innovation that will pay dividends for years to come.

Then, once you’ve landed and you are all awash with the possibilities, the passion of doing what you love and the promise of sharing it with all those that need it…find an agency that can match your love of what’s possible. Call Modo Modo Agency.