Archive for the ‘Jobternships’ Category

Planning for Your Future or Merely Your Next Job?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Are you currently taking steps to plan for your future career? Odds are you aren’t. Most likely you are so worried about finding a job, any job, that you aren’t looking at the big picture. Instead, you are trying to stuff your resume with as many keywords from the job description a possible in order to bypass the filters on the HR scanning software. Basically, you’ve skipped step one of career planning, and dived head first into step four. Not a good strategy.

Graduating during a recession when jobs are scarce is no picnic. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your “real career” until the market recovers because the job market may not turn around for another ten years.  If you pay attention to the news you’ve heard reports that the economic recovery in this country is likely to be a jobless recovery. That means that while the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) may go up, people will remain out of work. Companies will find ways to be more productive with less people. And, as the healthcare costs rise, business owners have less and less incentive to create more jobs.

So, where does all this leave you? The recent graduate who has brains, ambition, and plans for a successful career?

It leaves you with a decision. Are you going to simply continue to look through the wants ads and apply wily-nily to anything you see? Or, are you going to take a thoughtful approach, and consider what all of this means to your specific situation? Telecommuting to work and freelance/contract work is going to be more common in the next few years. People with skills that don’t necessarily thrive in an office environment are going to fare well in the upcoming years. In other words, you don’t want to rely on a company for your future career.

Do you have skills that could be turned into your own business? Are you a graphic designer, computer programmer, interior designer, chef, organizing expert, or writer? Could you be building up a portfolio of work to show potential clients? What steps are you currently taking to plan for your future career? Maybe now is the perfect time to look for a jobternship and gather the skills you’ll need to successfully run your own business some day.

Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you are a perfect fit for their company. That company may not exist tomorrow. Job security starts and ends with you. That is more true now than ever before.

Jobternships: An Alternative Job Search Strategy

Monday, March 16th, 2009
It’s true that college students who are graduating this year are facing a horrific job market. On the other hand, the recession can be viewed as an opportunity for grads to take some risks and explore positions that offer real-world experience in fields that interest them, but that may be paid – or in some cases – unpaid. I like to call these “jobternships”.  They could also be termed “workternships” or “careerternships”. You get the idea. Great experience, but not always salary and benefits.

The person who takes the “safety” job as a cashier or barista will make a few extra bucks in the short-term, but in an interview situation, “marketing intern” will be much more appealing on a resume than “barista.” Ultimately people who have a job are more successful at finding one; so if it comes down to serving coffee or nothing, then certainly serving coffee can’t hurt.  You never know whom you might meet over a latte.  But if the choice is between a paid job serving coffee and a non-paid job offering relevant industry experience, think about which decision will ultimately help you reach your long-term career goals.
UPDATE: Beth and I were recently asked by the Washington Post to offer some tips for creative job search strategies. We briefly discussed and introduced our jobternship concept in this article. There are other great tips too!