No matter what anyone tells you, technical companies and local, state, and federal government offices are always hiring engineers even in tough economic times. You can find work; you just have to be a little more creative in your thinking. Finding work in the current economic environment can be a daunting process filled with disappointments, but with a plan and persistence you can find success. Just do not give up.
Even though it may be difficult to comprehend right now, the recession just might be the best thing to happen to your career. Here are 3 reasons why.
- Career Development – Every employer wants you to do more then just the job description. Take on those job tasks that no one else wants, accept the training course and trade show invites, and participate in professional organizations. You want to be the most valuable employee the company has to point were they can not afford to let you go. At the same time you want to network with as many people as possible in your trade. If the time comes to were your company has no other choice, but to let you go, then through your network it will take no time to receive a job offer.
- Career Change – The recession may offer you the best opportunity to start a new career that may be in a different field of engineering or may not even require your engineering degree. Without any doubt your educational background and professional experiences will be a major asset in your new career.
- Career Ownership – Prior to the recession you were able to be secure in your current job or field of engineering, and not needed to consider other business opportunities. There may not be many opportunities in your previous technical field, but if you are willing to expand your horizons the real opportunities are enormous. The risk takers, the entrepreneurs, will bring back the economy, not the government.
Every engineering project starts with a plan. It is no different looking for a new job. You need a plan that will say were you begin, how you will stay on track, and what you hope to accomplish. Every step in the plan should have a set of strategies to be implemented before moving on to the next step. Here are ten key strategies to finding employment.
- Make Use of the Internet – Utilize online services and products, on employment listings websites. Create a career website on several of the online social media sites. Some of the main online social media websites are LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, blogs, and so on.
- Leverage Your Time-off – Establish yourself as an expert by writing articles, giving presentations, teaching a course, and so on. Authors, speakers, and instructors are highly respected in any field
- Increasing Your Knowledge – Use this time to gain additional education and certification, through classes, seminars, certifications, professional conferences, degrees, and so on in your respective field of practice. Employers recognize this activity as staying technical current.
- Professional Associations Involvement – A key strategy is to enlarge your visibility. Do not go into hiding until the economy gets better. One of the best ways to boost your visibility by increasing your attendance at professional associations such as ASCE, NSPE, ASME, APWA, and volunteering to be on various committees.
- Networking – Networking is nothing more than communicating with your acquaintances and colleagues that you are available for hire. Every day you should on the phone or meeting with someone trying to find someone who knows of someone that is looking for an engineer.
- Job Fairs – Job Fairs are a great opportunities for both the employer and the employee. The job fair helps the companies to see a number of potential employees in a relatively short period of time. The fair also helps the potential employee see a number of companies all of which need to hire. Before attending the job fair find out what companies will be in attendance. If none of the companies are engineering related or are hiring engineers, then it is not worth your time unless you are willing to consider an unrelated engineering position.
- Internet Job Search – The internet is a great resource for job hunting. If you are willing to relocate, the internet job search is ideal for you. A simple search for engineering and you can find a number of good websites.
- Temporary and Part-Time Work – Your may not be able to find full time work, but there may be a possibility for part-time work. Even a few hours a week can keep you motivated, and possibly lead to a full-time position with the same company.
- Consulting Work – Many companies have down-sized to the point that they can not provide all of the services they would like too. If you are able to fill this gap when the need arises for several companies, you might be able to almost completely replace your previous income. Who knows if you find enough work, you might have the makings for a new company.
- Start your own Business – With all of your efforts searching for employment you may come across several gaps in the business. Gaps that have been left open from previous companies who have folded or down sized. If you are able to find a niche with sufficient demand, then why not start your own company.
Perseverance and persistence is the key to any job search plan. Work your plan as though you are at work every day, and keep a positive attitude.