Q: I am in a dead-end job and am frustrated about the job market. It seems there are so many candidates for one job. I don’t want to quit my current job but I am very unhappy with many things about this company. I think my co-workers share my thoughts too. There is very little opportunity here. Any advice?
A: I am sorry that you feel so frustrated. You are not alone. I have received a lot of comments like yours, especially in the last few months. I think there are many people gainfully employed who are very frustrated and dissatisfied with their current roles. Reasons may include – those employed are doing the jobs of several (other roles have been cut), there are few internal opportunities within your company or there are fewer external opportunities outside of your company. There are others that are working in a contract or part-time role, when what they truly want is a full-time role with benefits.
However, a few thoughts and/or words of advice:
• The employment market does seem to be slowly improving. Bloomberg reported this past week that there was a drop last week in the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits. Additionally, Bloomberg reported that the early September numbers showed a decline in the total number of American collecting unemployment benefits.
• Companies are slowly hiring. Stephanie Marks, President of Human Resources On Call LLC provides this insight: “There are signs of life in this employment market. There are sectors that are hiring, including green/alternative energy companies, healthcare and biotech to name a few.” Marks recommends thinking about what skills that you may have that are most transferrable to these emerging industries.
• It is often easier to land a new job if you are currently working.
• Are there opportunities within your company for which you can apply (or job post)?
• Keep an active network so when hiring picks up, you are “top of mind” with your contacts.
• Be positive and professional in your current role. It is a very small world out there. You may need a reference from this company some day.
• Learn whatever new skills that you can while in your current role.
Don’t despair. Economists are forecasting a slow recovery, but a recovery nonetheless.
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Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.