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Are You Reaching High Enough? Finding a Job Under Tough Circumstances

Anyone can find a job. That’s right, I said “anyone”. And I meant it. But the caveat is: I didn’t say what kind of job. You can go out and start flipping burgers, and whine about the tough breaks life handed you when your company down-sized, or you can reach higher, and go for that job you really want, and know you have the experience and enthusiasm for.

Reaching higher means being on your toes, in every sense of the words. You’ll have to stretch yourself too- make that extra effort to overcome the obstacles in your way. Nobody said getting the right job would be easy. But it’s there, waiting if you’re willing to reach.

To show you what we mean, I’m going to give you an example of one executive’s ego-crushing layoff. Down but not out, this man took personal circumstances that could have held him back, and built on them so that he stood on a solid foundation and put that perfect job within his reach.

Sean Davidson* was a senior level marketing manager for a higher end solid wood furniture manufacturer. His company was downsizing, and in a performance review, it was felt that Sean was the staff member in that type of position that they could most do without. What followed was eight months of frustration, and confidence testing, as he attended job fairs, network events, and searched Internet employment sites. Then he landed an interview for a job that not only matched his skill set, but which he wanted badly. How did he overcome the negativity of his layoff?

When asked about the gap in his employment, Sean took the initiative and spoke about strategic mistakes he had made in his last position, and how the slow growth in their industry, had led to a decision to lay off staff. He then went on to talk about new growth areas and how a company can make the most of the opportunities offered, and increase their market share. His explanation and proposals not only showed his awareness of current market conditions but also displayed his business competency.

He had turned the focus of the question from why he was laid off, to show what he had learned from the business conditions that caused it, and how he could help the interviewing company to improve their position. And he got the job!

* Names changed to protect confidentiality