That doesn't have to happen. Not even in a buyer's market.
Back in 1979, I made the leap from non-profit to corporate, more than doubling my compensation. That was because I had taken seriously the career guidance in "What Color Is Your Parachute?" Each year a new edition is published.
The bit of advice which transported me to Paradise was this: Forget answering help-wanted ads.
Instead, get the names of middle managers or above in organizations where the great jobs are. Ask for an "informational interview," that is, about 15 minutes of their time. What you would like to find out more about is working in an organization such as theirs.
That I did. In those days it was snail mail.
After struggling for days, I created a brief professional but friendly note requesting an informational interview. The target market was the private sector in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I had had it with earning peanuts at a local university.
The response was cordial. And I was equally so: I kept informational interviews to 15 minutes. Several interviews later I received an offer from what would become Chevron, the energy company.
A number of years later, when I was laid off from a company in Stamford, Connecticut, I used the same approach. I wasn't jobless long.
Now, as a telecommuting ghostwriter/speechwriter, I am landing plum assignments in the same manner: unsolicited pitches.
That tactic requires patience, though, at least these days. It might be months between sending the email and their getting back to you. But the wait is worth it. The work is at the high end. Clients/employers treat our skill with respect. The tasks are intellectually stimulating. The compensation mirrors what it used to be before the two recessions since the turn of the century.
Yes, invest time in putting together a short, thoughtful pitch, focused on them, not yourself. This is all about them.
Meanwhile, you would be wise to get a survival job. That's what I did in 2003, after my industry had changed. Within eight months, from unsolicited pitching, I received two good job offers. I used one as a bridge to return to operating my own business. The employer became a client.
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