When a recession hits, the people standing in line at the unemployment office are like cars stalled in the worst traffic jam on a clogged freeway. There is zero movement and there appears to be no way out … People act as if it will last forever and there is no telling when it will end. Then someone makes a move to exit the mess. The exit from unemployment is right there in front of you. It is at the next off ramp. Pull up your GPS system, research the possibilities, develop a list, take a risk, and get moving again.
Right now the news is not all good but it is not all bad. If you focus on the bad, you might as well go back to bed and hibernate for another year or two or three.
Think of recession as a kind of hibernation in the job market. First it is a deep unconscious sleep. Then there is an awakening with a renewed purpose and a refreshed outlook. The country is renewing itself right now. Companies that hunkered down and regrouped during the past three lean years are starting to emerge stronger with new focus, new products, new customers, and a growing need to hire.
There is a significant amount of hiring going on right now for engineers and computer professionals. Look for that to increase in the coming months. Most companies are moving cautiously and deliberately as they start to grow so there is not a lot of room for error. You will have to do it right the first time.
Engineers are particularly blessed with job possibilities. The utilities, green energy companies, engineering consulting firms, construction firms, electronics firms, IT consulting firms, and even government are all back in the hiring market. The web sites of companies from GE, Turner Construction, and PG&E to HP and Intel are full of job listings. The local Sacramento companies like Pearson, CC Meyers, Grass Valley Group, Eyefinity, VSP, Volcano, ZGlobal, and IEC are all growing. And of course they all want the best and the brightest.
President Obama in his 2011 State of the Union address focused on job creation, specifically, investing in infrastructure; transportation infrastructure - highways, airports and high-speed rail; internet infrastructure - internet access and security; and energy infrastructure -clean energy technology and renewable energy. These are all areas that require engineering talent in the early stages to deliver.
Many opportunities are going to present themselves to you over the next few months if you put yourself out there. It will take a special approach to impress an employer. Right now finding that job requires a solid plan and concerted effort. It is important that you are ready to compete. You need to be prepared to present your best self on a moment’s notice. Stop hibernating and get moving.
Here is the start of your checklist (do it all and more!)
- Take a career planning class or workshop
- Identify your strengths, take the motivated skills checklist
- Develop a professional looking resume
- Create a well constructed portfolio
- Purchase professional interview outfit
- Develop a list of potential companies
- Research companies on your list
- Identify the best approach