Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting Through The Maze

Given the current state of affairs on the unemployment front these days it probably comes as no surprise that two of the most asked questions we get from ExecuNet members who have been caught up in all this are:

1. What is the "secret" in dealing with recruiters, and

2. What sort of strategies are there for moving from one industry to another?

I could easily list another ten to twenty questions that would all have double digit percentages in terms of how often they come up, but for now and in the interest of both time and space, a comment and a recommendation.

Comment: When someone finds themselves in a job search, it has long been both a knee jerk reaction for the person to say to themselves that one of their primary strategies is going to be one of "working with recruiters." On the surface, of course, that has some logic to it in the sense that most equate recruiters with jobs.

What is forgotten all too often however is that recruiters "work for clients" not candidates. Once they have sourced a candidate they may "work with them" to help get them ready for presentation to their client, but they are a long way from being the person who is going to help the candidate find the next job.
Of course the other fact that is easily forgotten (maybe repressed?) is that the percentage of positions filled by recruiters vs. what is out there is relatively small. The numbers vary, but if it reaches as high as 20% that would be pushing the envelope. It is more likely 10-15%.

So maybe the question really ought to be not about working with recruiters but rather how should I be interacting with them as one potential contact point in my search.

Recommendation: While our members have any number of resources to draw upon, including a whole section of the site that is focused only on recruiters, if people ask me for just one resource that I think puts this all in perspective and has excellent, solid and practical advice, I point them to Nick Corcodilos and a book entitled: How to Work with Headhunters.

Recommendation: When it comes to looking for similar quality input on the issue of making a change from one industry to another (not an easy task by any means) my suggestion is to check out Nick's latest which he calls "an answer kit" that carries the title of (as you might guess) How Can I Change Careers? This is a 36 page PDF crammed with answers on this tricky challenge.

One of the hardest things about dealing with the issues of transition is trying to make some sense out of something that leaves many of us with the feeling of being caught in a maze and continually running into dead ends.

If you are looking for a maze guide, Nick comes highly recommended.