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An entrepreneurial approach to job seeking in a recession


The current market downturn has created uncertainty for many workers. However, while many remain concerned about job security, and others have lost it entirely, there is also a proportion of the workforce that look at the current market and remain calm and focused on securing that next great job opportunity.

Job security is really about perception. Realistically, there is little if any job security for most workers. Markets are always changing, businesses are restructuring, new CEOs and Executives are being appointed and business direction is continually being altered to reflect demand and supply. This has been always been the case. However, in the current climate it is exacerbated, and causing a heightened state of fear.

While some are concerned about job security and are adopting the strategy of sitting tight and crossing fingers to weather the storm, others are feeling more empowered and see the market as ripe with opportunities for them to advance their careers.  These people are the ones who have adopted the characteristics and strategic approach of an entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur’s profile includes:

  • A heightened sense of optimism – to them the glass is always half full!
  • An understanding that there is no such thing as security or a sure thing.
  • Tenacity and courage – a willingness to back themselves to embrace and make change.
  • Are always actively looking for opportunities.
  • Ability to smell a rat – if it sounds too good to be true, they know something is not right and walk away
  • Thorough due diligence and research – they never go in blind and always look at the risks and how these can be mitigated.
  • Intuition and an understanding of their strengths and limitations.
  • Well-defined ethics and values, which directs them as to what paths to pursue.
  • The ability to listen and learn – they thrive on learning new things and are always looking for opportunities to develop themselves. They don’t rely on someone else – they go out and source it.
  • Discipline to set their goals and work to achieve them. They don’t let minor changes like a market downturn prevent them from reaching their goals
  • A belief in themselves, as confidence is imperative. If you don’t believe in yourself, you cannot expect others to believe in you.
  • Creativity, enabling them to see opportunities and pursue different paths, to be flexible and adapt as required.
  • The ability and willingness to collaborate. Great things are not achieved alone.

What you can learn from entrepreneurs for a more successful job search:

  • That the right time to change jobs depends on you and not market forces
  • A knowledge that there are always good job opportunities out there; you just need to be looking in the right places and be actively looking using traditional and non traditional channels
  • You should always be doing your research and due diligence on prospective employers, prior to and/or after interviewing for a job – find out the company’s history and that of its CEO and leadership team, the wins and failures, staff turnover, career development and so on.
  • Research where the opportunities are. What industries are booming? What jobs do you have the skills and interests to transition into?
  • Given the opportunities, is now the right time to move interstate or overseas to explore other job and career opportunities you may not have considered in the past? (Perhaps this is the impetus you need!)
  • Networking and collaboration – utilising these channels for research and to assist you in sourcing new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or assistance; entrepreneurs aren’t!
  • When assessing job opportunities, don’t believe the hype. Remember, the ability to suss out what is reality and what is the fluff are crucial.
  • Have a strategy and focus, assess other opportunities that arise along the way, but don’t lose site of the bigger picture.
  • Tenacity. Rejection is a big part of job seeking in any market. Likewise, the life of an entrepreneur is full of rejection, which is why tenacity and self-belief are so essential.
  • A strong belief in yourself and your abilities is crucial. If you are not willing to back yourself, it is unreasonable to expect a potential employer to.

Ultimately, each person has to do what feels right for them. This wonderful quote by Henry Ford sums it up the best:

“Those who believe they can, and those who believe they can’t, are both right.”

Kelly Magowan is the founder and CEO of Six Figures, a premium job site for $100K+ jobs and contract opportunities across all industries and professions.