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VOL. 129 | NO. 208 | Friday, October 24, 2014

Angela Copeland

Timing Is Everything

By Angela Copeland

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Timing is everything; at least, it can be. Whether it’s in life, relationships, or job seeking, timing can strongly influence the outcome of a situation.

When you’re searching for a new career, there are many things you should do, such as update your resume and cover letter. You want to keep your LinkedIn profile current, and have a nice suit on hand for interviews. You should spend time growing your network and applying for jobs.

But, once you have the basics covered, what should you do if things still aren’t coming together? Many struggling job seekers beat themselves up for not being good enough or trying hard enough.

Although you always want to do your best, take a step back and try to evaluate the situation from an unbiased point of view. Are there outside factors that may be impacting your results?

You may be in an outdated industry. For example, traditional marketers who specialized in yellow pages advertising are having a tough time finding a job right now. Digital marketers, however, are in high demand. It’s a job that didn’t exist 20 years ago. As you can imagine, traditional marketers who took the initiative to grow their digital skills are having a much easier time today than those who didn’t.

If money is a priority, companies pay people with certain college degrees more than others. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the starting salary for a petroleum engineer just out of college is $93,500, and for a computer engineer, it’s $71,700. These high salaries have very little to do with a person’s experience. They’re all about what skills are in demand at this point in time.

Your location can also be a large deciding factor. For example, if you’re interested to produce movies, but you don’t live in a city like Los Angeles where movies are produced, it will be much harder for you to break into the industry.

On a personal note, I completed my undergraduate degree in computer and systems engineering just as the dot com crash happened. During my four years in college, I was confident that it would be a breeze to find a job at an internet company. But, afterward, it was unclear if my shiny new degree would be worth anything at all.

The answer to this problem lies in how you might change your situation. Ask yourself a few questions. Do many jobs exist for what I’m looking for? If so, do I live where these jobs located? Am I open to relocating?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then great! If the answer is no, it’s time to look at alternative paths. List your transferrable skills and begin to think about what other jobs are available that use these skills. Also, brainstorm how you might build on these skills. With your transferrable and new skills in hand, you can begin to rebrand yourself and search for a new career where the timing will be in your favor.

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, www.CopelandCoaching.com, and author of Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job. She also hosts the Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).

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