February 12, 2016
When looking for a job, you probably already take into account your skills, experience, passions, and interests, but there is another factor you may be missing: current events.
If you aren’t already investigating how the world around you can shape your job hunt, you are doing yourself a disservice. Being knowledgeable about current events can help you find a job faster, earn more money, and make better decisions if you have multiple offers.
Here’s how you can use your knowledge of current events to refine your search.
Set Realistic Expectations
Understanding the current state of the economy and job market can help you set realistic expectations about how much research you’ll need to conduct to find results for open roles and how long your job search may take. A hiring freeze or boom can also be highly dependent on the general economy. Keeping a realistic perspective throughout your search about the reasons there may be an influx of responses to your applications or just a few trickling in, can help you maintain a positive attitude and avoid becoming discouraged. It is important to understand beforehand that it may take longer to find and secure certain roles, especially if you are financially conscious or eager to leave your current position. If you aren’t receiving responses, you can attribute part of that to the competition for only a few scarce roles. A lack of response does not necessarily mean you aren’t qualified to work in that industry or field, but it does mean that you might need to apply to more positions and make sure your resume is impeccable.
Understand Your Industry
Career trends are not isolated, but rather shaped by the world surrounding us. Certain fields and industries have many roles they need to fill while others are hiring more selectively. Jobs in nursing and healthcare, for example, are currently booming. Generations are growing older and people constantly need to be aware of their health. This is information that if you consult the news, can help you target your job search. Other industries, meanwhile, could be experiencing a hiring freeze or not have as many open positions. If you have the option of pursuing a slightly different type of role or targeting an industry, that you know is doing well, your job hunt may be more fruitful. For example, if you previously worked marketing packaged goods, but you’ve heard there are many open roles for marketing in the software industry, you might consider doing some research into relevant jobs. An understanding of market trends and the types of products people are purchasing, and even popular culture, can help guide you in exploring new jobs.
Current events can help dictate the best time to apply for a role. If you are aware of a significant event, like a housing boom in a certain location, you can cater your search to positions that exist in that location. You can also make sure your salary requirements are in line with housing costs in the new location. You may also not want to apply to jobs in that location if the event would significantly impact the role you might obtain. Furthermore, some positions are seasonal and there is more need for them during certain times of the year. The huge increase in purchases for the holidays is certainly useful information to know for individuals seeking positions in retail sales, event planning, and consumer marketing, among others jobs. Anticipating this growth will help you understand that you should apply for a holiday job in August or September before the season starts, rather than waiting until December.
Consider Prime Real Estate: Location, Location, Location
Keep current on job trends because open jobs in certain industries and fields may vary depending on location. If you know that Los Angeles has more open healthcare jobs than Boise, you can use this to help guide your search. The job market in different cities and states is shaped by current events so being aware is the first step to determine the locations that will yield the best results. To avoid frustration, start searching in cities where there are more open jobs and later look at those where the types of role that meets your criteria may be not as prevalent. Check out Simply Hire’s employment outlook to familiarize yourself with the current state of the job market and the jobs and metropolitan area with the strongest growth.
Ace the Interview
Congratulations! You’ve been selected for an interview.
It’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask candidates about well-publicized events, whether it’s to commiserate about a natural disaster or to comment on the recent acquisition of a company in your industry. The more informed about current events and the world, the better prepared you will be for any interview question and to present yourself in the best light. Avoid being categorized as an individual who will not pay attention to his surroundings or others by lacking knowledge about current events.
Negotiate Your Salary
When negotiating salary, preparation and research is key. Along with researching typical salaries for the type of position you’ve been offered, having general knowledge of the economy can also be to your benefit. If you enjoy following the stock market and see that the stock for the company that offered you a job has just skyrocketed, you’ll know you can possibly negotiate a higher compensation package. If that company has been in the news for an event in which they discussed compensation or how the product you’ll be working with is exceedingly popular or needs some help in improving its features, you can also use this to your advantage in negotiating salary. But, only a well-read and informed individual would be have this knowledge.
Set yourself apart and take action now to use current events to help guide your job search. An easy step is to start by finding and reading one article a day concerning politics, economics, technology, or anything else that you believe causes changes in the job market. While we enjoy a good article about the best pizza in each city, as much as the next person, dig a little deeper than this, unless your objective is to become a pizza delivery person.