The way we go about getting jobs has changed. Through technology and the networks that offer more intel on our prospective employers, we are better prepared than ever to find the right career path.
The latest generation of job-seekers is also different, and not only in how it approaches the task of finding work, but in its philosophy and attitude.
To get a better sense of the state of job hunting – and how it will likely evolve – FORBES spoke with Janice Clements-Skelton, chief human resources officer with EBI Consulting and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Special Expertise Panel.
Finding the right occupation is important, she argues, not just for scoring a paycheck in an expensive world, but for career happiness. “You, at 22, are going to work, in all likelihood, for 50 years,” warns Clements-Skelton. “Make sure you love it.”
The New Job Hunters
“There is a fearlessness about this generation,” says Clements-Skelton. “They are risk-takers, they are willing the try something new, they are willing to punch above their weight.”
Younger people looking for work today also have a different outlook on failure, she said, in that they are more willing to learn from failure and do not see it as a source of shame that would forever stain their resumes. “I see a generation that has come into the workforce and has been made bolder through the use of technology and information.”
Because job seekers have more access to intel – through LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other such sites – they simply know more about companies they are contemplating working for and have the power to contact employees of those firms. “Because of that,” says Clements-Skelton, “The interview process has become more collaborative and much more transparent.”
Is It Time To Find Something New?
One important element in a job search process is knowing, first of all, when it’s the right time to look for a new job. To Clements-Skelton, that means asking yourself several questions: Do you feel like you are growing in your role? Do you have the type of relationship with your manager that you want to have? And, do you see a career path laid out before you? “If you have an honest conversation in those three areas, It’s pretty easy to figure out whether you’ve hit a rough patch that you can work through, or if it is time to move on.”
If you identify discontent in one or more of these areas, be aware that you might be able to rectify your situation by speaking with your manager or HR rep. If you do so and still feel unhappy, then you need to start the search process.
To that end, Clements-Skelton provides some guidance in the tips below.
Narrowing Your Search
• As it always has been, networking is key. The difference now, of course, is that there are tools to do it. An internal referral or even a LinkedIn introduction can set you apart from the pack.
• Social Media is important for job candidates. If you are not in a confidential search, posting to your social networks that you are looking, and what you are looking for, is an important form of networking.
• Organizations still post to job sites. While LinkedIn, Monster and Career Builders are still relevant, Indeed.com scrapes corporate web sites, so look there too. Don’t ignore, ZipRecruiter, Simply Hired and Mighty Recruiter.
• Cold Calling is an option. If you have identified one or more organizations, that you believe offer the ideal work and environment, but they do not have a position posted, you can cold call. Using publically available information, or your network for an introduction, you can send your resume and a cover letter requesting a call or visit to learn more about the company and to introduce yourself for future consideration. Many businesses will make “opportunity hires” when they meet a great person and know they will have a need, but don’t have an open position quite yet.