January 4, 2008

Starting your 2008 job search the right way!

Well let me start off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year! May 2008 bring you all the successes and achievements you dream of!

Okay, now back to business. With the new year comes all the bills for purchases you made over the holiday season - well at least that's what happens with me, despite the fact that I'm convinced I should win the VISA Win What You Buy contest!

And so now I'm beginning to hear a lot of people say that "I need to find a job ... and fast!" For some, the daunting reality of a huge credit card bill is the best motivation for finding a job.

So for this post, I'll be talking about three major industries and their job prospects right now.

RETAIL:

First things first, remember that most retailers do their hiring before the holiday season, as they need the extra staff to deal with the increase in business. As well, remember that most stores will experience a decline in sales activity from January until about March. As such, many managers simply cannot afford to take on additional staff.

With that being said, don't let that deter you. Some stores might be hiring - especially new ones that are just opening, or stores that are expanding/renovating. If you really want a retail job, be prepared to do a lot of leg work. Keep checking out websites like
www.jobloft.com for listings in your area.

FOOD INDUSTRIES:

In all the years I've been in the workforce, it seems like there are always openings in the food service industries. These jobs can be great for those with little to no experience or those looking for something part-time that offers flexibility with the opportunity to earn some money.

And remember that working in the food industry doesn't just mean working at your local McDonalds. Be sure to check out grocery and drug stores near you. While it’s not a guarantee, I've found that grocery stores do additional hiring in January, as post-secondary students return to their educational institutions, while students reassess their commitments and decide if they want a job during the second semester. It doesn't hurt to whip up a resume and cover letter and personally visit the manager of a grocery or drug store in your area.

OTHER:

There's no steadfast rule or trend for non-food and non-retail jobs. On one hand, you have telemarketing and market research companies that are always looking for staff. If you've got a good phone voice and live in a major city, this could be an ideal job for you - especially since most wages start at $10-$12/hour ... on the flip side, be prepared to deal with a lot of rejection and irritated callers.

Some other jobs that are increasingly being posted are in the office/administrative area. In fact, one area where you'll begin to see a greater number of job postings is in real estate. For companies like RE/MAX and Century 21, they know that come late February and early March, the real estate market really heats up as people begin to buy homes and condos. If real estate isn’t your thing, consider companies that are launching a new product or service – they might also be looking.

In terms of manufacturing, if you want a job in this area, I suggest browsing Service Canada's job bank (
www.jobbank.gc.ca) or calling staffing companies (Manpower, Adecco, Randstad, AppleOne, etc.). If you're just looking for something on part-time basis, I find that recruiting companies are better able to find those sorts of opportunities rather than you by yourself.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I've always found that job searching in January can be more difficult than job searching in November. But the opportunities are out there.

You just have to know where to look. Start online and go from there, or head out on your own and "pound the pavement."

In the end, remember to keep a positive attitude - keep searching, sending your resume, and following up. Eventually something will come - and your 2008 will be off to an awesome start with a brand new job!

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