Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Entering the job market: Am I on top?

Posted by sweens on February 20, 2009


I just had an interesting conversation with my boss regarding some candidates we have been seeing from a local company that is having serious struggles.  Many of the candidates that are coming across my desk have no pressing interest or need to leave this company as anyone left within the company has been employed there for many years.  Many candidates are opting to wait for the company to go under or become profitable again, but are sending out feelers to agencies and applying for jobs incase the right opportunity comes along.

 

In light of this, I pose the following question:  When you are ‘entering the job market’ are you entering the market on your own terms or because you have to?

 

This is an important question to consider because there is a big difference between those who enter the job market on their own terms or those that are forced into the market.  This is especially true in today’s employment market, as the supply of people exceeds the demand needed and the supply is increasing week by week. 

 

If you are searching for a job while you are still employed you have a bit more ‘bargaining power’ then someone who is not employed.  Now there are always circumstances that lead to layoffs and people taking time off, but there is always a small stereotype that exists when reviewing resumes of candidates who are not working (especially those who have not been working for a while). 

 

When you are unemployed – you are forced into the market.  This situation can lead to you accepting a position that is not your ideal position, but more importantly it allows the company giving you an offer to make you an offer that is less then your desired salary.  While the company will still give you fair market value, it may be on the lower end since they know you are not working.

 

If the opposite were true, and you entered the market on your own terms, you are less likely to get that lower offer from a company because you already have something to keep you going.  You are likely to get a salary increase or an equivalent offer because the company issuing the offer needs to give you a reason to leave your current employer.  Offering you less money – more times then not – is not the best way to attract someone to your new company. 

 

This post is written as a realization that candidates should evaluate their current situation with respect to how stable it is.  If it is not the most stable situation, maybe candidates should consider looking within the market on their own terms, rather then being thrown into the market by a corporate layoff. 

 

Searching for a position because you would entertain a change is a MUCH different search then searching for a position because you NEED a job.

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