When times are tough, people often see things through the prism of age or (through) too much or lack of experience, but the reality is every organization hires entry-level talent.
The key is not waiting until graduation to start job searching. Be active and start thinking about your career before you graduate. Make time to sit down with the career service office and find out what companies are recruiting on campus.
Talk to professors about their industry connections and to alumni to find out how they've used their degree. Many times, you'll find that someone's leveraged it in a completely different direction than what might be the obvious.
What advice can you give job seekers on how to negotiate a salary, knowing that the company probably has a number of qualified candidates to whom they can offer the job if you're unwilling to budge?
By the time somebody has offered you the position, there's a very good chance that they want you. So that's a good sign for you right there.
However, you want to be realistic about the salaries for industries within the area that you live and also very sensitive to this economic climate because companies know they can get great people for less than they would have a year or year and a half ago.
A company that's choosing to make an investment in you and hire you is hoping that you're going to be there for the long haul. They're going to want to pay what's fair for the experience that you bring and what's commensurate with the going rate within that industry and area.
They aren't going to simply lowball you because of the economy. Because they know that you're going to be miserable, you may not be able to meet your own personal financial obligations and you're going to resent that they came in so low.
Sometimes you can negotiate beyond money as well. Maybe there are specific benefits that you're interested in, like the ability to work from home one day a week. Those particular benefits may matter to you just as much.
We've recently witnessed a huge shift in certain types of jobs being outsourced overseas. Manufacturing and call-center operations are two that come to mind. As our economy evolves, what industries are creating tomorrow's fastest-growing jobs?
Health care certainly leads the pack. Positions like (caregivers) are in demand because the population is aging. Many want to be able to remain at home, but if they don't have family or friends nearby, they need assistance.
There's also an enormous abundance of nursing and health care technology-related jobs. They're the only areas where we've seen consistent growth every month.
Another area is education. We see a shortage of substitute teachers around the country now and shortages in higher education.
We'll see what will come of the whole green-job industry, which is everything from architects and engineers to windmill builders. I think many opportunities will be emerging there.
Losing a job mid-career or later can be difficult, especially for those who are well-paid and accomplished in their fields. Are job-hunting strategies any different for this group?
It's a challenge because you are somebody who may have never had to do (a job search) before.