Should you try to get a job at a company going through a bankruptcy? Is following up on a job interview a bad thing? Should you accept a lower salary just because the economy is a little rough? Some of these recession myths are widely believed to be true, while others are a little more tricky to answer at first glance. An article by James Challenger from the California Job Journal site combats some of these ideas.
First on the list is the myth that companies that are cutting jobs or entering bankruptcy are not good places to work. This is an excellent opportunity for job seekers. Mr. Challenger says, “Contrary to what most jobseekers may believe, the company that is having difficulties, even announcing sizable layoffs, has a more urgent need for qualified people than companies which are more economically fit.”
I agree with his assessment. A local company has been going through some rough times in recent years. They were laying off a lot of older, more senior employees (high salary and benefits costs) to make room for inexperienced (i.e. cheaper) substitutes. I know several people that wanted to go to work for the company where virtually no applicant was being turned away, because there was good money to be earned.
The next recession myth is that companies don’t want to hire older candidates. The quote on this one says it all, “Older workers are highly regarded for several reasons. For one, employers see them as valuable assets in the struggling economy because their experience and skills make them better able to do the work of two and sometimes three younger, less seasoned workers.”
While many of us know that the younger generation is more tech savvy, that doesn’t always mean that they are better workers. The knowledge and experience garnered from years of work can’t be learned in a classroom. Plus, the “brain drain” expected as older workers start retiring is a problem for many companies, so they are working to keep their older, more experienced employees in the workforce for as long as possible.
The next misconception is that job seekers should only target companies that are advertising open positions. I’ve heard this myth several times recently, and it is completely untrue. Mr. Challenger writes, “A very small percentage of jobs are actually found through newspaper or Internet ads because a very small percentage of the available jobs are listed there. Jobseekers should be focused on ways to create opportunities by actually getting out and meeting people and visiting prospective employers. It is a strategy that results in a lot more face-to-face rejection, but in the end a job is usually found much faster.”
This is fantastic advice that most people don’t realize. I spoke with an HR professional in my area last week, and she told me that she has a burning need for someone to fill a position, but she wasn’t 100% sure how to proceed in what she was looking for. If a qualified candidate had met her through a social function and brought up the issue, then an interview could have been set up right then and there! According to Heather Huhman, statistics show that 70% of jobs are found through a personal network, so you should be working on yours often!