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 


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