Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BOB LANKARD: Job hunting, on the job

by on August 24, 2014 1:49 AM

Do you fit in any of these categories?

• Expecting to be laid off. There has been one round of layoffs. Who will be in the next? The rumors are rampant.

• Working in a stop-gap job below your skill or education level. Are you thinking it’s too late to do anything about it? You may fit into the category for which the term is “mal employees.” Many mal workers are college graduates from the recession years working in jobs that do not require a degree. They are earning half of what their peers with degrees earn. As many 40 percent of recent graduates are in this situation.

• Expecting to be terminated? Any day the ax may fall. No matter what you do, the bosses are unhappy. You feel you don’t fit in with your co-workers.

• Unhappy in your job. In a recent survey, less than half said they were happy with their jobs.

As an employment counselor, I was teased for telling everyone, “Keep your r←sum← and networking contacts up to date. Never know when you will use them.” Now is the time for anyone not in a happy situation to be active job seekers even though they are working.

Why now? Employers give preference to those who are employed. Some even say “unemployed should not apply.” Some employers place a value on a continuous work history to the detriment of the long-term unemployed. Employers feel those who have kept their jobs have a better work ethic.

This attitude should encourage those debating about taking stop-gap, temporary, or part-time work — being presently employed should help your ultimate job search.

Job hunting while working is much easier in 2014 than it was in the 1990s. The Internet has made the difference. For example:

• Many job openings are posted online. No need to go to an employment office or check boards of posted jobs.

• Applications are available online. With many businesses, it is not necessary to walk in the building to pick up an application. There is no need to worry about the impression “Uncle Fred” would make when you sent him in to pick up an application for you. Do it from the website.

• Civil Service announcements and applications are online. Going to the employment office to review the list of openings was a real hassle for someone working full time.

Once you complete an online application you can save it and use it for several job openings.

• Information about companies that you had to get with a personal visit or phone call is now readily available on a company’s website.

• Email makes it possible for the job seeker to make contact with a person who works the same hours as he does.

No need to miss your lunch hour. No need to play phone tag. You do not have to take the risk of being fired for looking for another job while you were working.

• Job search 24/7. You can devote a weekend time slot to job search. Wear what you want.

Bob Lankard, a retired employment specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's Indiana Job Center, is a job-search columnist for the Indiana Gazette. Read his columns on Sundays.
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