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Corporate Independent Consulting and Contracting

What Job Seekers in the U.S. Can Learn From Job Seekers in China

  • Don\’t be the first to name a price – This is simple negotiating 101. If you name a price too high you may not get the interview. If you name a price too low, they will negotiate from there and try to get it even lower. I know, it\’s kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don\’t situation. Let them start the negotiation.
  • Start at the bottom – Yes, I know you just spent a small fortune and years of your life in college getting a degree. But it\’s a buyer\’s market. Look at it this way, if you really work hard to prove yourself you won\’t be at the bottom for long. And you will also learn more about how the company works. Use the time to your advantage and learn as much as you can.
  • Develop empathy – By starting at the bottom you get a chance to know how it feels to step inside the shoes of the people who are the heart and soul of a company, grinding it out every day and making the company work. As you work your way up the ladder, you will have a better understanding of what they go through on a daily basis and you\’ll have skills and knowledge you wouldn\’t have if you just stepped in at the top.
  • It\’s perfectly fair to ask the interviewer upfront about what kind of job opportunities you can expect from the company. It\’s fine to start out at the bottom. Just make sure it\’s not a dead-end job.    

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    How Different Generations Conduct Job Searches

    When a baby boomer friend was searching for a job, his elderly dad said \”Look in the newspaper classifieds\”. Since I haven\’t picked up a newspaper in quite a while, I\’m not sure they even still have job listings there.

    With so many people unemployed in all age ranges, it made me curious how different generations conduct job searches. I was surprised to hear that Boomers use social networks more than Gen X and Gen Y, who tend to go with Google +.

    All generations value job security, which seems to be harder to come by these days. Boomers tend to gravitate towards more meaningful work, while millennials value a higher salary and more flexibility.

    Job seekers in all generations spend between 5 and 20 hours a week looking for a job. As a small business owner and freelancer I spend twice that amount of time looking for work, because the minute you finish one job you have to start looking for the next one. You\’re always juggling the clients you have, and at the same time you\’re always looking for more clients and customers.

    What surprised me the most is that 95% of all job seekers in all generations were searching online, while spending only 5% searching offline. This leads me to think that we\’re losing the ability to connect to a real, live human being. People are actually surprised when I call on the phone. I like to make some kind of human connection first.

    I still believe the best way to get a job is by meeting someone face to face. The one thing you can never get across in a text or email is personality. If I\’m hiring someone, that\’s the number one thing I want to see.