Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Someone we know described the feeling he had the moment he was told he was being laid off a few weeks ago:
"My ears started to ring, my chest got tight and everything around me seemed to fade into the background. It was as though my world stopped for a moment. I was numb as I went through the motions of listening to the woman from human resources explaining my termination and eventually heading home. Two weeks later, the fog still hadn't lifted. It's hard to get a job search organized when you feel as though you're under water."
If you are one of the many unlucky Americans faced with a pink slip, don't despair. Although it may seem like one of the worst times of the year to be income-less, it's extremely important to stay optimistic and organized. If you take a few steps to stay organized in the job search and use your strengths to your advantage you will be more likely to impress employers and get a new job quickly.

Alicia on "To Take a Pay Cut or Not to Take a Pay Cut":
This is not a fun topic to deal with or discuss, but, unfortunately, many companies are still hiring but paying lower salaries than even a year ago. Since the available jobs are few and far between right now, it's important to take opportunities when they are available to you, even if it is just for a couple of months until you can find something better. A friend of mine, who happened to be a recent grad of the University of Michigan, was struggling in his job search. No one would hire him for a livable wage. After weeks of looking, he finally took a job that paid less than he truly needed just to relieve some of the financial pressure. Five weeks later, he was hired by the same company in another, better-paying position. The moral of the story: It is possible to go further, faster, if you take a lower-paying job and prove yourself as a valuable team player in the first few months.

Sarah on "The Network Effect":
It might be a dog-eat-dog world, but dogs do run in packs and the "who you know" definitely has an impact on getting a foot in the door -- or even hired. Contact friends in your religious groups or recreation groups -- or even friends from your old job who might have friends whose company is hiring. People who can pass on your resume or put in a good word for you can give you the boost to get hired over someone else. Also, if you use social networking sites, like Facebook.com, contact people who are in a similar profession, even if you haven't talked to them in a while. Everyone is impacted by this economy, so you never know what an old friend might be able to help you with.

Three tips:

1. Organize Your Resumes
Since most employers don't have the time to read more than one page of a resume, you need to make sure you are putting your best foot forward for each employer. That means presenting each employer with a resume that highlights the specific experiences, skills and certifications/awards that are most relevant to the job at hand. And always take the time to write a cover letter as well. It shows that you care about the position and are a dedicated worker. For help with writing a resume and cover letter, visit career sites like Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com.

2. Check Out All Career Sites
Job boards can be overwhelming, but we encourage you to leave no stone unturned. Search local newspapers for employment, mass search engines like Monster.com and Hotjobs.com, and do a Google search for "career fair (insert your city's name)." Many people don't realize that a single job posting can cost a company up to $800 on sites like Monster.com. Therefore, small to mid-sized companies often post jobs on sites like Craigslist.com or online versions of the local paper. But be on the lookout for fraud and scam posts.

3. Tap Into Hobbies
Do you post a blog for fun regarding one of your hobbies? Do you play a mean guitar? Free-lance jobs like blogging or music lessons can be a great way to make extra money while you are looking for a job. You can find free-lance jobs on Craigslist, and even post your services there, too.
(The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to


  1. Excellent advice, but I'm sure glad I don't have to job hunt anymore. Retirement suits me just fine.

    Have a terrific day sweetie. Big hug. :)


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