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4 Assumptions That Are Hurting Your Job Search

Change is inevitable throughout the business world, but in the last decade, it seems like the pace of change has been increasing every day. If you agree with this statement and believe that SO MUCH has changed in just a few short years, then you need to be very wary of OLD ASSUMPTIONS!

We all tend to have them, they come from previous experiences, they are bred into us as children from our parents’ experiences and over a lifetime we tend to adopt them as fact.

If you look at the job market today it would be easy to apply the same beliefs you had years ago, or even just a few years ago before the recession.  Yet the job market in particular has changed enormously in a short space of time.

Canada’s economy is one of the best in the world but we still have almost 7% unemployment, AND we have jobs going unfilled every day!

If you are looking for work you might need to reset your expectations.  Here 4 common assumptions some job seekers still have that are holding them back from a future opportunity:

  1. “I need to secure full-time, permanent work.” Most of our readers are independent contractors so already know that this is false. Temporary and contract work is growing. Even if it is not your preferred answer, it gives you (a) a pay cheque; (b) an “in” to an employer; (c) good experience; and (d) it is always better to look for work when employed! There are many benefits to contracting and the Talent Development Centre is dedicated to helping professionals succeed in it.  If you’re looking for work and have been ruling out those contract opportunities, it may be time to start considering them.

  2. “I can find work in my city.” This isn’t completely false; you can find work, but is it the work you want? The job that matches your career goals may not be available in your geography, so maybe you should consider moving to where the work is.  Traditionally, Canadians have been slower to move for work, unlike the US, but being employed is a big part of anyone’s life so you should give it real consideration.  A great part about being an independent contractor is that taking work in another city doesn’t necessarily mean a big move. It may only be for a few months until a contract comes up closer to home and, depending on the client, you may be able to build travel costs into your bill rate.

  3. “I have always been a <fill in the blank>.” The truth is, some skills get outdated, especially in IT. Sure, you could become a subject matter expert in a niche area, but that will make contracts hard to find and could involve a lot of travel.  If you want to continue in that line of work, you’ll need to get some extra training to refresh your skills, or maybe you need to consider something different that could take advantage of your current skills.  For example, you could consider becoming a recruiter!

  4. “I know how to find opportunities.” If your colleague told you the only place they look for contracts today is in the weekly careers section of the newspaper, you’d probably look at them like they had two heads. Perhaps the fastest driver of change today is technology and that’s creating countless new places where companies are promoting their opportunities.  If you’ve been sticking with the same one or two sources for the past five years, you’re not much further ahead of the person who only looks in the newspaper.

Getting past some of these assumptions could require a big decision and don’t make any of them without really doing your research.  Remember, though, the people who figure out this new world first will be the winners! So ask yourself, are you changing with the times or are you still stuck in some old ways.  Do you have a plan to embrace new ideas and try new strategies?