career

I'm unemployed! How can I get a job?

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Hold out for your dream job

"If I had tons of money, I might totally concentrate on my dream job," says Karen Burns, author of "The Amazing Adventure of Working Girl," who has had 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities and in foreign countries. "But I wouldn't go into debt or become indigent to do it."

Is it risky?

Way risky, dude. Unemployment's at 13.1 percent for ages 20 to 24 and 9.6 percent for ages 25 to 29, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The longer you're out of work, the larger that gaping hole on your resume will be. "If you hold out, there is a possibility that you won't get a job at all, and it just becomes increasingly harder to get a job because you're out for longer and longer and longer," says Vicky Oliver, career coach and author of "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions."

What's the upside?

You'll have more time to find a great fit, and your unsullied resume will scream dedication and perseverance once you land an interview. Who knows -- it might even spark a bidding war.

"Say you had another job offer. You could say, 'This other place has offered me a pretty good job, but I really want to work for you. What do you recommend?'" says Oliver. "Even if they say 'Take the job,' at least it gives you a reason to stay in touch with them."

What will my friends think?

Get lots of input. "Peer pressure can be hugely powerful, especially when you're in your 20s," says Burns.

"Seek input not just from friends but from mentors, professors and older people as well. Then it's easier to balance it all out and figure out the best path for you."

How will I know if I made the wrong decision?

You'll feel frustrated. "If you've identified the baby steps between you and that dream job and you look at that list and you haven't even done steps one and two, then you're not moving forward," says Burns. "That's a sign that it's not working."

 

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