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Scoping Out the Job Market

Your goal in job hunting is to find a new job in the most timely and productive manner. In order to do this you need to have a target. The target and job should generally reflect the type of job and company you want to end up in as well as the salary range you are willing to accept. Your target may change depending on where you are in your job search. For example, if you already have a good job that pays well your target can be really weighted toward you. You may want to seek out a high salary in this instance however if money is an issue and you are not currently employed your financial target may be much lower. The bottom line is you must be realistic in your expectations. The following is an exercise to help you do this.
  1. Assemble a list of all the job possibilities that you can see yourself doing.
  2. Examine each possibility on the list to see how realistic it is.
  3. For the realistic possibilities ask yourself the following practical question. Of all these possible positions, which would meet the your basic financial needs for your lifestyle?
  4. Calculate your approximate market value for each of the job possibilities on your list. Read on to find out how to do this.

This should be based on your background and skills and how much other folks in similar positions earn. Some words of advice are needed here. Stay flexible as you move forward in the job search process and be prepared to make adjustments to your target as needed.

You will need to do some legwork to develop your "job possibilities" list. Nobody is going to know all the possibilities that are out there however there is loads of information available in places such as your local library and the Internet. Your goal here is to uncover as many possibilities as you can. Talk to people in the field you want to get in to. Attend industry trade shows to find out more about the companies in that industry.

Attend job fairs, seminars and lectures to talk with people in the field you are targeting.

Once you get an opportunity to explore a job target here are some things to consider asking.
  • What would you be doing everyday?
  • How easy is it to get in to the filed?
  • How quickly do people move ahead in the field?
  • What do people on average earn in that occupation?
  • How would a job in this field affect your lifestyle?
  • What are the big companies in this industry?
  • What qualities does it take to do well in this type of position?

Your marketability is really a function of what employers are looking for in the marketplace and what you can bring to the table. You can do a simple exercise to determine your own marketability in general. First write down the four or five factors employers in each job target are most likely to consider important. Rate each factor with a number relative to its importance to potential employers. Next, rate yourself relative to each factor. Add up all the ratings you gave yourself and then add up the employer ratings. Subtract yours from the employers and if the gap is small you are pretty marketable however if it is big then you are not so marketable in this field orprofession.

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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