Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Getting creative

Posted by John Ross on January 27, 2009

In yesterday’s blog we looked – albeit briefly – at ‘recession proofing’ your career.  If you’re looking for work, integral to this will be the need to be creative in your job search.  Not least, because a high proportion of job vacancies are never advertised.


In today’s tough labour market it’s vital that you’re realistic in your expectations.  It’s very possible that you won’t find roles at the salary you were expecting and your room for negotiating a higher starting salary and more flexible terms and conditions may be significantly smaller than it was even a few months ago.  For many, the scope to move ‘up the career ladder’ will have lessened and moves are more likely to be sideways – in the same or into a new organisation.  Indeed, the current recession may sharpen the trend towards a person’s career being characterised by periods of paid work; further study and training and contract work rather than by ‘a job for life’.


As we’ve already noted, it will be important to be keenly aware of the skills that you have and of how they can be applied in a new role – to the benefit of the employer.  Perhaps the safest job seeker of all will be the one whose skills can be applied across a range of roles and sectors.


Spending time on self-appraisal of your skills; interests; values etc is likely to be time well spent.  So too however, will be time spent looking at sectors, roles and employers.  This will mean asking yourself searching questions.  For example, how comprehensively could you answer the following questions?


  • What are the most active sectors in the locations you want to work in?
  • Which organisations would be most interested in what you have to offer?
  • Why might these organisations be interested in you?
  • How do they typically recruit and who is responsible for their recruitment?

In career choice, and in job search, your knowledge of the sector will be invaluable too.  Of the sectors that interest you, what are the current trends in each?  Are opportunities likely to expand or contract and are jobs typically found in large organisations?  What are the major organisations in the sectors concerned, and are employers concentrated in certain parts of the country?


Take time to identify and explore the major information sources for these sectors.  It’s likely that these will include professional associations and employer/business groups.  


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