Every month presents the job seeker with new challenges and unique opportunities. To get the best outcomes, you have to know how to assess the market and capitalize on key seasonal trends. If you’re planning to launch or continue a job search in March, here’s what you need to know to land the best possible outcome.
It’s going to be unpredictable
Historically, March is a good month for job seekers. The months of January and February which were crowded with candidates and highly competitive are now behind you. Ahead lies the spring hiring season which is fortunately free of the disruptions that will come in the second half of the year, like summer vacations or holidays. But this particular spring might bring new conditions to the job market that you need to start thinking about now. Global volatility, driven in large part by the impact of coronavirus, is causing many business leaders to brace for a possible economic downturn. New opportunities are still plentiful, but for how long?
Don’t procrastinate any longer, because what lies ahead is hard to predict. There’s certainly no reason to panic, but if you’ve been thinking about broadening your job search parameters, ending a passive search in favor of a more active one or calling in networking favors you’ve been putting off, this is the time to pull out all the stops.
Don’t get discouraged if you’ve been searching for a long time already and can’t imagine what else you could possibly do. All you need to do is simply stay the course. Try to remain focused and motivated; while this isn’t easy, now is not the time to slow down.
Problem solvers are in demand
In January, companies are more likely to open jobs that are completely new to the organization as they launch innovative projects. But by March, the end of Q1 is upon them and they have a fairly good idea where they stand on those goals. Companies that were looking for visionary leaders just a few months ago are now hoping to find a new cohort of fixers. This dynamic creates an opportunity for those job seekers that are able to effectively highlight their problem-solving skills.
No matter what kind of job you are interviewing for, come prepared with examples of when you have turned a difficult relationship or business problem around. Don’t just tell interviewers that you are a problem solver, but show them with the examples you share.
Be sure to highlight the times when the solutions weren’t straightforward or when you had to build stronger relationships before you could even understand the root issue. If you can show them that you will bring a unique perspective and fresh energy to the team, you are much more likely to become the chosen candidate.
You’ll have to be ruthless about vetting opportunities
March should continue to be a decent hiring month, but be cautious about the jobs you take. Some things to consider are whether you are joining an industry that is always in demand such as healthcare, or one that requires favorable economic times to grow such as travel or retail. Does the company have the financial resources and culture in place to take care of employees should business slow a little? Finally, assess if you are taking on a job where you’ll be able to quickly prove your value and become indispensable or if instead the role has a long learning curve which could leave you vulnerable.
You don’t want to take any job solely because you deem it safe, nor should you turn down your dream job out of fear. But you’ll be kicking yourself later if you failed to even consider potential risks that came back to burn you.
Like any life change, a job search requires effort, hope and confidence. The job market this March may be harder than usual to predict, but it can be just as fruitful.
Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Centre can be found at: Employment & Learning
This article was adapted by Shaylyn White. You can view the full original article by Kourtney Whitehead at Forbes here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kourtneywhitehead/2020/03/01/3-things-you-need-to-know-about-a-march-job-search/?sh=640559737473