Job Search Strategies in a Tepid Market
What a difference a year makes. After an extended period of rather frantic hiring, many firms are now staffed up and focused on building their client base rather than finding sufficient personnel to keep up with growing demand. For job seekers in a number of markets, this means there are fewer new openings and less opportunity for upward career mobility. Forget about what worked last year. It’s time to rethink your job search strategy to fit the conditions of the current market.
Although hiring has slowed, opportunities do exist. They may not be the opportunities you were hoping for, however, which means you need to take the long view when conducting your search. Focus on your career goals and be flexible. You don’t need to stop searching for your ideal job, but if you don’t find it, what can you do in the meantime to help you get there?
One option is to freelance in order to keep active and up-to-date with the types of projects firms are taking on. This also gives you a chance to talk with staff inside various firms to learn more about them and to let people know you are searching for a position. It also gives them a chance to see what kind of work you do and whether they like working with you (which counts for a lot more than job applicants often think).
Another option is to take a more entry-level position in the hope of eventually moving up in the firm or gaining experience that would make you more valuable should you decide to pursue other opportunities in the future. This can be a rewarding approach if you are looking to switch to or develop expertise in a particular specialty, or if you have worked freelance or as a sole practitioner for some time and need to gain some organizational experience to enhance your resume.
And don’t overlook opportunities in industry. Many designers left industry and retail positions within the past couple of years when firms were seeking experienced designers, and those companies are now looking to hire designers to fill those empty slots. Especially for less experienced designers, these positions can be a great way to learn more about how the industry works, gain valuable experience, and build a network of suppliers and designers that will benefit your career for years to come.
Here at DMC we continue to receive many requests from employers seeking the right employee. Be sure to check our job board and upload or update your resume to let us know you are actively searching.