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Economic recovery presents opportunities for job seekers

3 min read


Many workers who stuck it out at awful jobs during the recession are staying put, even as the economy improves, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted by online job-search service TheLadders, found that 88% of employees are experiencing some level of job dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, economic indicators such as the unemployment rate, manufacturing activity and the stock market have experienced gains, suggesting there are opportunities for workers seeking greener pastures.

Economists have noticed workers’ reluctance to test the job market, pointing out that the rate at which workers are voluntarily quitting is disproportionately low compared with the rate at which the economy is adding jobs. This puts a damper on the economic recovery because job turnover increases overall wages and helps workers learn skills, economists said.

SmartBrief spoke with Alexandre Douzet, president and co-founder of TheLadders, to discuss how job seekers can find a position they love, not simply one that provides a salary. An edited version of that conversation follows.

A common expression about job searching is that it’s a full-time job. How can people find time to job hunt when they already work full days?

Job-matching services can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to job searching, so all job seekers have to do is casually look at employment openings that are automatically sent to them. At TheLadders, we ask candidates to fill out a questionnaire containing 20 to 35 questions, which help determine the kind of culture that workers will feel most comfortable. We find openings at companies that match that culture and send them to job seekers regularly.

What do you mean by culture? Specifically, what kinds of things help determine whether an employee will fit in somewhere?

Let’s say you work in technology. A large, blue-chip company such as IBM has a very different culture than, for example, Twitter. There’s different values and a different sense of mission. Everything from the dress code to the office environment is going to be different. People who are going to feel comfortable at IBM often aren’t going to feel like they fit in at Twitter. That’s the reason job seekers have to go into their job hunts really knowing who they are and what they want.

There’s a myth about job seeking that you need to apply to 100 jobs to get only one. That’s not the right way to go about it at all. What you really need to do is find the five to 10 companies that you really feel like you want to work for, then pursue those openings.

Once job seekers find an opening they truly want, what can they do besides e-mailing their resume and waiting for a response?

We coach people on how to connect with the person who is in charge of hiring. The way to do this is to first research the company online to try to find the names of people who work there. Any company that posts a job on TheLadders, for instance, fills out a profile that contains this type of information. Job seekers can use this information to see whether they have any connections to the company. After job seekers get a call back, we coach them on the best way to approach the interview process.

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