In this job market, it’s hard saying what will get you hired. For some places, it’s a simple question of whether you’ll show up. That’s all it takes. For other jobs, the standards certifications needed to do the job well are still a requirement, but the context and setting for the work may be up for discussion.

If you’re qualified, you may be able to make the rules. For these roles, you may be able to demonstrate your ability to work from home while still fulfilling the essential functions of the role. If you’re someone with a highly sought after credential or a skillset that is hard to find these days — AND if you’re able to show up for work — you could be in the driver’s seat of finding a job.

For the rest of us - those willing to work and willing to show up, but not necessarily so specifically qualified that we’re being aggressively pursued for jobs, there’s something to be said for learning to play to the nuances of this job market and find ways to stand out amongst the competitors around you.

If we could summarize the message that will get you the most opportunity, it'd be simple...

Be Ready to Work

Many hiring managers are doing their best to answer to their own bosses about the employment crisis that surrounds us. When fast food restaurants and coffee shops are closing at obscure hours because of a lack of good workers, you can imagine the implications to every layer and level of our economy. Every industry needs good workers. It gives you the chance to be bold, to ask good questions and be part of big conversations. You may not be able to demand a corner office and casual Fridays during your interview, but you may be to be able to enter the interview process with rapport from the start. Simply by acknowledging your passion for hard work, your desire to be part of something that matters, and your intention to contribute to the long term success of the company, you’re establishing a narrative that hiring managers are looking for right now.

If you’re not feeling those things, but simply are looking for a job to get you to the next weekend, that’s okay too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate a message that sets you up for new, better opportunities. Acknowledge where you’re at professionally and ask about opportunities for growth, for learning, and for leadership. Ask about the future of the company and how they plan to sustain business in these economic times.

This is a unique time in our history, economically and otherwise. Those who use this time well can turn it into a turning point for their career, the time when they stepped up and stepped out when so many others were stepping back. By positioning yourself within the job market as someone that can be relied on to show up and work hard, you may find that your best careers moves were made when you were simply taking advantage of the world you lived in. 

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