- Joe Meyer is founder and CEO of ExecThread, a crowdsourced job-sharing network; it is the largest global aggregator of otherwise unpublished executive job opportunities.
- Millennials may have previously been admonished for jumping around jobs often, but right now, that ability to bounce back is a rather valuable skill.
- If you’ve been out of the job hunt for a while, it’s better to think about alternative career options before you lose work amid the coronavirus economic downturn.
- Make yourself comfortable with virtual networking and interviewing, share job options you find with others, and always be on the lookout for other options.
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Millennials are often frowned upon for jumping from job-to-job and not having staying power as it relates to sticking with any one employer for too long.
Regardless of what you think about the job-hopping traits of many millennials, there’s one thing for sure that can be said of them: They’re able to bounce-back from a job layoff much quicker than most executives can, and its mainly because they have been routinely and proactively practicing their job-searching techniques. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s recent Workforce Confidence Index, millennials are the most confident generation during the current economic downturn.
Due to pursuing a new job opportunity every few years, most millennials have been consistently honing the job-searching skills necessary to quickly land a new job, and as such it isn’t foreign to them to be job-searching while they’re currently employed.
Conversely, more experienced professionals – such as executives – tend to be a bit more conservative and often stick with their current employer for a longer duration of time, and in-turn don’t pursue new job opportunities in a consistent or earnest manner while they’re gainfully employed. As a result, the job-searching techniques of many executives often get rusty.
So when a downturn comes out of nowhere, like the one we’re currently in, it often leads many executives to initiate a job search from a standing-start, which can be very challenging if they have been recently (and unexpectedly) downsized out of a job.
The good news for executives who find themselves proactively looking for a job for the first time in a while is that technology makes the process of playing catch-up much easier.
If you’re an executive or experienced professional who’s actively looking for a job, here are some useful tips that will help jumpstart your search:
Embrace the virtual networking and interviewing
Even when social distancing subsides, the process of interacting in-person again will be very slow to return, so get used to communicating virtually.
Interviewing and networking via video conferencing will be the norm moving forward, as opposed to the exception.
To put this into context, Daversa Partners (a leading executive search firm) said that in the last 30 days, eight C-level executive searches of theirs successfully closed utilising video as the sole decision-making platform, and in each instance, an in-person meeting never transpired.
So what does this mean for you?
If you’re not “intimately” familiar with how to use all of the popular video conferencing platforms (i.e., Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, FaceTime, Slack, etc.) then download the web app and native mobile app of each platform, and start consistently using them today.
Every company you interview with, and every person you’ll be networking with, will inevitably want to use their video conferencing platform of choice, and as a result you’ll need to be flexible and proficient at manoeuvring around each platform otherwise you run the risk of coming across as someone who’s not comfortable with technology (especially if you’re clumsily figuring out how to use each platform at the beginning and throughout each video conference).
And for anyone who would prefer to network or interview in-person, the flip-side to this is that you can network (and interview) with many more people via video sharing than you can in-person since there’s no travel time involved to meet the person, so embrace this new norm to the fullest.
Embrace job sharing
Not too dissimilar from how in-person interviewing and in-person networking is being quickly replaced by video conferencing and virtual meet-ups, the days of sitting back and reactively waiting for an executive recruiter to reach out to you with an exciting new job opportunity is quickly becoming a dated way of finding your next job opportunity.
Collaboration networks are quickly forming in reaction to a much smaller number of job openings now being available. Peer groups are starting to proactively share job opportunities with each other, oftentimes via spreadsheets which then get posted to LinkedIn, and other more structured job-sharing approaches such as the COVID19-jobs initiative have also recently emerged.
More formal professional networking groups, such as Chief and Athena Alliance, have also set-up Slack groups and message boards to enable their members to share job opportunities with each other in a trusted environment.
And a few new job sharing platforms and job boards are also emerging in response to the recent downturn.
That’s also why my company ExecThread – which crowdsources otherwise hard-to-access senior-level job opportunities by motivating its curated network of professionals to proactively share jobs that executive recruiters approach them with – helps job seekers efficiently connect to such opportunities earlier in the process, as opposed to having to reactively wait for a recruiter to potentially reach out to them with a one-off job opportunity.
In a downturn with tons of job losses like we’re now seeing, efficient job-sharing platforms like ExecThread and others can be very helpful to both active and opportunistic job seekers alike.
Always be looking
As the old adage goes, the best time to look for a new job is when you have a job; this has never been more true than today.
With the national unemployment rate currently in excess of 15% and rising rapidly, no one’s job is safe right now.
If you’re fortunate to be currently employed, it behooves you to start proactively identifying new job opportunities while you are so you’re not caught flat-footed if you do get downsized. This is good career advice even in a strong economy, and it rings even more true in a downturn like today.
So if you’re currently employed, then start doing what it takes to uncover new career opportunities without the clock ticking as fast as it would be if you were job searching without having a job, and in doing so follow the lead of millennials.
Joe Meyer is founder and CEO of ExecThread, a VC-backed crowdsourcing platform and premium job-sharing network that enables professionals to access the “hidden job market.” ExecThread is the largest global aggregator of unpublished executive job opportunities.
Joe has been a successful startup CEO and operating executive at high-growth tech companies including HopStop (acquired by Apple), Quigo (acquired by AOL), and eBay (EBAY). Joe was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 by Crain’s New York Business, and was ninth on Business Insider’s 2013 “Silicon Alley 100” list of the Top 100 tech executives in NYC.
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