Job Doc

I was thinking about starting a job search, but I’m worried about the economy. Should I still do it? Elaine Varelas advises

Conducting a job search takes time and effort and there are some who are worried about the predictions for the economy coming down the line. Elaine Varelas advises on what to think about when doing a job search during these times and what measures you can take to better your outcomes.

Ask the Job Doc.

Q: I was thinking about starting a job search but with everything going on in the economy, should I hold off?

A: You haven’t identified why you want to start a job search, so first focus on what’s motivating you and what sort of factors you are considering. These will give you the necessary understanding about what matters most to you rather than focusing on what’s going on in the economy. The economy is always changing, and it will continue to influence whether the climate is an employees’ or an employers’ market. Right now, companies will tell you it’s an employees’ market. Good employees are in high demand, and there are plenty of openings that companies are eager to fill, which means there are more opportunities for you to consider.


It is critical to understand what you mean by “everything going on” and how that influences you in terms of whether to start the job search or not. In either case, being prepared for a job search beforehand is one of the best first steps anyone can have. So, make sure you start your preparations now. This should include having a resume on hand that presents you well to a job of interest and be sure that it talks about your results and not just your responsibilities. You should have examples of quantifiable results (such as developing and initiating a change in process at your current job, resulting in X% increase in revenue or increased savings). If you are being very selective in your job search, you can tailor your materials (which should include a resume and cover letter) to the opportunity of your interest. Make sure you do your due diligence and research the company beforehand using the mountains of social media available, PR, and your network. Adding in information to your cover letter that shows you’ve done your research is key, such as mentioning the company’s vision statement and how it relates to the reason you’re applying, noting the particular skills you have that match the job description you’re applying for in your resume, and highlighting key accomplishments you’ve made in previous roles that would be of benefit to this specific opportunity.


People think that starting the job search is a short-term endeavor, but you could give yourself an extended period of time in the anticipation and preparation of finding an opportunity that is both something you’re interested in and right for you. When you think about starting the job search, it would make the most sense to have a target landing date in mind. And this target landing date could be by this time next year, giving you plenty of time to hone your skills, perfect your resume, and find something you would be truly passionate about. In addition, you should invest in consistent networking. Letting your friends and professional contacts know that you are entering into a very deliberate and quiet job search is key to this networking process. And you should be clear about your interest in specific companies and opportunities – this will help focus your networking efforts. This kind of job search is different than a quick search where someone needs to find an opportunity based on immediate and demanding financial needs.

Though a recession is predicted in the fourth quarter, predictions have been known to be wrong. If that’s your worry, you may wait out the fourth quarter before you accept any offer for a new position. Many people express concern about being in a first-in, first-out situation. Consider negotiating for severance in the case of a RIF or change of control. Should you decide to wait, it’s only to your benefit to be prepared if someone brings you an opportunity or if you see one you are excited to pursue.


It is important for you to really look at the reasons you have for starting the job search in the first place. If it’s because of uncertain stability at your current job or a return to the office procedure, perhaps you should start looking into other remote or hybrid opportunities. While there is a push for more returns to the office, Andrea Hsu in the article The Idea of Working in the Office, All Day, Every Day? No Thanks, Says Workers, writes: “Apple … wanted to bring people back to the office three days a week. But just last month the company decided to postpone its plan after more than 1,000 current and former employees signed an open letter called the plan inefficient, inflexible and a waste of time.” But consider speaking to your manager about your circumstances before you start a petition. If it’s the prediction of a recession that has you looking elsewhere, consider all of your possibilities and factors – is your job stable? Do you foresee any layoffs on the horizon? If not, taking this next year to get yourself as prepared as possible for your job search could be a strong option. Examine what your most specific areas of concern are and identify what you need to do overcome those obstacles.


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