Bully at Work Moody Boss Karma Office Gossip No Picnic Back stabber Plug your Ears Moody Boss

Job Hunt: Equal or Better Your Last Salary

Photo of man on stool ©istockphoto.com /RichVintage

Due to the current economic conditions, companies are looking for the most profit-oriented leaders they can find.


They also aim to attract executives and managers who have a record from past assignments that defines them as successful motivators. For many in this job market, simply finding and holding on to a job takes priority over the compensation level. The key to staying on the payroll once you are able to find a job involves demonstrating to an employer that you are able to do many things during a period when many companies remain heavily focused on cost containment. You should not only do the job that you were hired to do, but you should augment it with additional work whenever possible. It may require more hours on the job and some advance planning during non-work hours, but the dividends can be significant.

Evaluate the work situation to determine how to volunteer for assignments that have not yet been made. Doing so demonstrates the type of aggressiveness that employers appreciate and will increase visibility before top-level management. Show your employer that their concerns are your concerns. Approach each job or assignment with the attitude, ‘How can we do this better?’ That type of attitude will help bolster your job security.

It is also advised for workers to find ways to save the company money and always keep the boss informed of your work accomplishments. It is not enough in many companies just to do a good job and hope that someone notices or appreciates it. Particularly in a larger firm, the company may not know what you have done for it lately. Even smaller firms may need to be reminded of your accomplishments.

Make it a point to schedule regular meetings with a supervisor to keep that individual up to date on activities and accomplishments. By doing so, job security is solidified.

Finally, one of the best ways to increase security is to be there when you are needed.

Most employees put in their 40 hours a week, use all the sick and personal leave allotted — and then some. However, this will likely not sit well with senior management, which is routinely accustomed to putting in long hours at work in today’s super-heated business environment.

Frequent absences for personal reasons or minor illnesses sends the message that the company is not the worker’s top concern. Many firms are requiring managers to work one-and-a-half or even two jobs. One does not establish a good reputation with anyone by being a clock puncher or a time watcher. Be available early and late.

Suggestions to land that job:

Do not sit home and wait for an offer.
Some job seekers intentionally narrow their prospects to the point that it becomes very difficult to get a new job. They sit at home not seeing people, which only draws out the process. You may be protecting your ego by avoiding the turndowns, but you are not getting yourself on another payroll.

Do not narrow your search to only one industry.
Often, job seekers have a fixed idea in their minds about what they want their next job to be. If they have worked in one particular industry throughout their career, they may think about looking for jobs only in that industry. The tendency is to stick to what is familiar rather than facing the unknown. Regardless of what your previous jobs were, if you narrow your prospects to only one industry you will limit your job search and probably prolong it as well.

Many people do not realize that job function skills are transferable to a wide variety of industries. Knowing that opens up a whole new world of opportunities. You should contact everyone you know even if they are not in your industry, because they might require your skills or know someone else in their field or another field who does. Sell yourself based on your skills — your experience and accomplishments from previous jobs.

Do not interview over the phone rather than face-to-face.
Some job seekers attempt to avoid face-to-face interviewing, operating on the theory that it is easier to take rejection from a disembodied voice over the phone. The great disadvantage is that this short-changes both you and the interviewer. Face-to-face lands the job!

Do not eliminate out-of-town job opportunities.
By refusing to extend the job search beyond his or her immediate metropolitan area, you reduce the possibility of rejection but also limit the effectiveness of your job search. Job hunters learned in the last recession that you increase your chances of success in winning a new job when you enlarge your field of search. When nothing was available in their home towns, they looked elsewhere, usually successfully.

Do not arrive late for the interview.
Employers expect you to be on time for the interview. Know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Then add some extra time and plan on arriving at least 10 minutes early, instead of 10 minutes late.

John A. Challenger John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the global outplacement consultancy that pioneered outplacement as an employer-paid benefit in the 1960s. Challenger is a recognized thought leader on workplace, labor, and economic issues.

The Job Hunt: How to Equal or Better Last Salary © 2009, Challenger, Gray & Christmas;

The Office-Politics Industry Expert Opinion Column | www.officepolitics.com;

What's your advice?

(You can also tweet it to @dearOP)