Finding the Growth In a Tough Job Market

Finding the Growth In a Tough Job Market

Finding a Job In a Tough Job Market

Let’s be honest: this is a tough job market! If you pay attention to the news and the economic data that keeps coming out, it’s downright confusing about where the economy is headed and how long it might take until it turns around.

If you’re a job seeker, you probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s not easy out there. I work with job seekers every day and I can tell you that what you’re feeling is real – it is taking folks longer to find jobs than it did a year ago.

The good news: it’s not you!

If you’ve been applying to jobs and not hearing anything back, your first instinct might be to rethink your resume or tweak your LinkedIn profile. And while those are ideas that can ensure you’ve got the best job search assets you can, please don’t spend all of your time reworking these if you’re fairly confident that they represent you well. Because, like I said – it’s not you.

There are simply fewer jobs being created now than there were a year ago. Here’s a chart from CNBC with monthly new job creation, which shows 236K jobs created in March 2023, versus 414K from March 2022 (a decline of 43%).

But before we get too discouraged, let’s look at a breakdown of job creation by sector, because this view shows that there is growth in some areas:

So what’s a job seeker to do with this information?

  • Use it to further refine your job search, so that you are looking for a job in an industry that is growing. Are you a Human Resources professional? Focus your search on HR roles in leisure, hospitality, and healthcare companies, for example.
  • Even in difficult job markets, there are companies and industries that are growing. Find that niche and pursue it – don’t keep throwing applications into the wind!
  • Plan for a marathon, not a sprint with your job search. Having realistic expectations about how long it might take you to land a role will reduce the frustration you feel along the way.
  • Use your time well: a slow job market is an ideal time to build your skills through online courses, a community college class, or a technology bootcamp.
  • A slow job market can also be a good time to get coaching on your job search or help with your resume. If you’re looking for job search coaching, email me and let’s talk about how I can help you navigate your job search.
  • And, finally, your network can really come through for you if you are actively engaging with people during your job search so they can help you. Relying on your network means both talking to the people you already know and actively working to grow the pool of people who might be able to help you.

On that note, I challenge you to find an in-person networking opportunity or MeetUp to add to your calendar this month.

You’ve got this!

Need help with your career restart? Here are 5 ways I can help:

  1. Email me at if you want to talk about 1:1 coaching
  2. Sharpen our focus with my new digital course on  Charting Your Course Back to Work: How To Find Direction As You Return To Work.  
  3. Buy the digital course on  Building Your Return-To-Work Resume  
  4. Get my free  LinkedIn Mini-Course 


Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

This post is going to be a short one, because my theme is:

Keep It Simple

So here it is, everything I want to say about keeping it simple in 2 sentences:

Your goal is to return to work after taking a career break. In order to do that, you need to know what the skill set is for the job you want and be able to clearly articulate why you’re a good fit for that role.

But Wait…There’s More!

You knew I couldn’t stop after just 2 sentences, didn’t you? Here are 5 steps to take right now to help you match your skills to the right job:

  1. Read 5 job descriptions for similar jobs you want
  2. Make a list of the key skills employers are looking for
  3. Note which of them you have with a line about your experience in that area and make sure this information comes across clearly in your resume and your cover letter
  4. For the skills you don’t have, find a LinkedIn Learning, Coursera or Udemy course that will fill that skill gap for you
  5. Schedule time to do the course and set an end date to make sure it gets done

​Back to Basics

I know job-searching isn’t quite that simple, but sometimes it helps to go back to basics. If you have too many skill gaps, think about applying for a stepping-stone job that you’re more qualified for right now and that will help you build the skills for the job you really want.

If you’ve got all the required skills already but you’re not making progress in your search, re-evaluate your job search process and ask yourself what else you could be doing that would help you get that job.

Don’t overcomplicate it.

Decide on that next step that will get you closer to getting the job and commit to doing it today. Don’t worry about anything else.

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Time Management For Job Seekers

Time Management For Job Seekers

I recently met with a group of job seekers and asked everyone to share their biggest challenge about their job search. Do you know what the majority of them named as their biggest challenge?

Time Management!

Let’s break that down. The challenges that everyone mentioned were:

  • Finding the time to job search
  • Doing the right things with that time
  • Struggling with days that seemed to have no structure

Let’s Talk Solutions

First, get clear on your goal. If your goal is to find a job, then you must accept that the only way that happens is with a whole lot of effort. In order to reach that goal, you’ll need to carve out blocks of time each day/week to do the work that needs to be done. If you’re a parent with kids at home, you might feel like a great deal of your time is spent in service of other people. Carving out even a few hours a week to devote to your job search will pay off. You’ll probably need to get protective about that time, so go ahead and let everyone know exactly when your Do Not Disturb sign is going up. Then stick to the plan and get to work! (Be sure to turn your phone off!)

Second, write down a plan. Once you’ve carved out some time for yourself, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re going to do with that time. Start with getting your resume in order, establish your presence on LinkedIn, put together a target company list and then get busy networking with anyone and everyone who works at one of your target companies.

My third suggestion is to use your calendar like the productivity tool that it was meant to be. Plan out your weeks and add some structure to your days. Block off the time in your calendar and be realistic about how much time you can commit to looking for a job. Add the tasks from your plan to the calendar. If you know what you need to get done and when it’s going to happen, this will take some of the stress out of this process for you.

And finally, try to spend most of your job-searching time on outward-facing activities like talking to people who can help you with a referral or with an informational interview. If you’re spending most of your time doing things that only you know about, that won’t help you land a job. You have to put yourself out there.

Let’s be the boss of our time and make this happen!

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Year-end wrap up

Year-end wrap up

This episode of the Get A Job, Here’s How podcast is a mash-up of the very best job search advice that we shared throughout the season. Take a listen for amazing tips on finding your next job.

Thanks for a successful first year of the Get a Job, Here’s How podcast. We’ve all had to make adjustments in 2020 to how we do things and for me, it’s been a year of trying new things, like this podcast. I’m so glad you’ve been along for this ride with me and I hope you’ll continue to listen.

The best way to stay in touch with everything going on here is to join the mailing list at Back to business. You’ll find it at  Please also subscribe to the podcast and keep listening. I appreciate you!

How To Use Unconventional (But Effective) Strategies To Land a Job With Guest Austin Belcak

How To Use Unconventional (But Effective) Strategies To Land a Job With Guest Austin Belcak

After first approaching his job search using more traditional methods like applying online to job postings, Austin Belcak discovered this simply isn’t effective. Now he coaches job seekers through his company Cultivated Culture on leveraging unconventional strategies to get a job even if you don’t have connections or traditional experience. Hint: It does not involve applying online!
Find out what a “Value Validation Project” is and why it will truly distinguish you as a candidate who can add value to an organization. Also, learn why Austin’s strategy works beautifully during COVID times when we’re not meeting people face-to-face.  Be sure to check out Austin’s website and the amazing free tools he provides for job-seekers at Follow Austin Belcak on LinkedIn here: Austin posts daily on LinkedIn and his posts are always incredibly insightful and helpful.

The 2-hour Job Search with Steve Dalton

The 2-hour Job Search with Steve Dalton

The 2-Hour Job Search, or 2HJS for short, focuses on getting job seekers to the interview stage by providing detailed instructions on these 3 steps:

1. Prioritize the universe of possible targets. Steve walks us through the creation of a target company or “LAMP” list and tells us how to prioritize which companies to pursue first.

2. Contact people who work at those target companies by determining who best to reach out to and how to do it in a way that maximizes the chances that they will be sympathetic. Steve has identified the 3 types of people who will be on the receiving end of your email requests: Boosters, Obligates and Curmudgeons. Find out why Obligates are the most dangerous! He’s also got instructions for writing a 6-point email to ask people who work at your target companies for their time doing an informational interview.

3. Convince those people to be our allies and to help us get an interview. 2HJS includes specifics about how to conduct an informational interview, down to what you should talk about and how much talking you should be doing.
One of the things I like best about this process is that Steve is not a guy who gives tips or job search advice. Instead, he provides the exact instructions you need to predictably land interviews over time. The 2HJS system is precise and efficient – Steve knows how long each step will take you and focuses his system on those activities that have been proven to provide the best return on your investment of time and energy.

By the way, 2 hours is how long it will take you to set up the system on the first day. Getting set up involves brainstorming a list of companies, prioritizing that list so you know which ones to attack first and drafting outreach emails to people who work at those companies.

Here’s where you can find Steve Dalton and The 2-Hour Job Search: The 2-Hour Job Search is available at Find the system online at

Steve’s 2HJS LinkedIn Group is over 5,000 people strong! Find it here: The 2-Hour Job Search – Q&A Forum