Market Cycles – You have to understand them when searching for a job!

Hello! Today’s Podcast on “Find a Job Like a Pro” is about Market Cycles!

Previously, I’ve talked about Timing but this time we’re going to take a closer look at Market Cycles. Market Cycles in general is where the economy is during the time you have decided to start looking for a job. And yes this greatly impacts your job search! For example, in the years 2008/2009 crisis, when the market collapsed and we all fell apart really – it was bad everywhere. Looking for a job around this time was tough. So let’s talk more about market cycles and how they can influence your job search.

When the market cycle goes down, there is no growth, no revenue, no expansion so there is no work! There are layoffs, downsizing, cutting down and pullbacks of salaries and bonuses. That’s when no one is searching for a job. It gets really rough! The only available positions are related to replacements and even those can take months to fill.

What happens with Job openings?

At this point, instead of a normal job opening cycle that usually lasts for around 3 months from start to finish, during a negative market and economy cycle, this can take 6  – 12 months to fill!  Why? Because all of a sudden the very best talent are applying to these openings since they have no other prospects! The employer has A LOT to choose from not to mention that they are extremely careful as to whom to hire!

I recall during the financial crises we had between 2009 – 2012, I was getting Harvard & Princeton Resumes which I usually never see since I specialize in LA market. There were people up for doing anything, ready to take on temping jobs for $15/h while they were working for $45/h normally, as long as it’s still in the industry. They didn’t want to walk away from their industry and thus were willing to take less money to gain the right experience. Hence, the employer had all the control and power!

It’s an “Employers market”

They call this an  “employers market” when everything goes down and there are no job openings. Employers can do what they want. They can take their time or not, they can hire someone for a contract role instead of filling the role with a full-time person and keep interviewing for another person. That’s when they have the power! It is frustrating but it is a fact. It’s like the housing market. When the market collapses, everyone wants to sell their homes at dirt cheap prices – the buyers have all the control! This is similar. Employers have all the control now.

When I was recruiting around that time  (2009 – 2012 – the financial crises), it was an absolute blood bath. A lot of people that lost their jobs due to firms just closing down chose to either go back to school (smart at this point) or take contract/temping jobs to keep current (smart as well).

Market times like this is why you never want to under perform! When the market is down, employers will start firing those who were poor performers. So never under perform!! Always go above and beyond. Be a true value resource in your firm! Everything can change overnight. If you under perform and management has to lay off people – you’ll be cut! So control that as much as possible.

Now the market is very healthy

It’s really remarkable what’s going on now: the market is in great shape. There is no question about what’s going on. Now the market cycle is on an aggressive growth path which in turn means more jobs, and more money! Oh yeah!

There are newly created positions. So many jobs, too few candidates. Now positions are open longer not because employers can be selective but because there aren’t enough people to fill these roles. That’s what’s happening right now! So guess who has the power now? YOU do! And that’s fantastic!

This is when you want to be looking for a new position! This is when YOU have the power! Just last week I spoke to a candidate who told me what his minimum salary expectation was and was firm on this number. He’s not in the rush to leave, he knows what he wants! He knows his worth. And he’s asking for almost 40% increase. But, guess what, he’ll probably get it! He’s been working for the same firm the last 3 years and he has amazing qualifications and experience. Therefore, he knows that he’s in a great position to get what he wants! Not to mention, because the market is now healthy he can command this and employers will not be turned off.

When there is a healthy and strong market cycle, it’s the time for YOU to get out there and start looking for a new job. MANY of you have been in firms for years, while the market was suppressed and due to staying put (which shows integrity and loyalty and commitment), this can hurt you financially! For example, I had one candidate who was laid off just a few months ago – in December. Her ending base salary was $50,000/year and now she called me and told me she got a new position for $75,000/year. That’s an increase of 50% of her base salary! You see her base was low but the market at the time was bad so she stayed put (smart) and she over performed and thus was not laid off. Due to other reasons, she was laid off (as the firm was sold to a French company) but n a few months she increased her base to 50% more because the market cycle and economy is healthy and strong and thus will pay her more for her skill set and experience (if she was looking for working during 2009 – 2012 she probably would not have found anything!).

Use the momentum when you have the power due to the market cycle being in your favor! Ride the wave. But remember: what goes up, must go down… Plan, save, be strategic and take all that into consideration as we will have another market crash probably in around 10 years or so – my bet is around 2029 – it will be very bad again for many years. So plan and save!

If you’re ready to start your job search, make sure to sign up for “On Your Marks… Get Set… HIRED!” and learn more about all job search – the Resume, Interview, Where are the jobs?, Application & Background check, Offer & Resignation. And so much more! It’s 60 videos and 70 worksheets that will change the way you look for a job forever! You don’t want to miss it!!

Thanks for listening and have a great week!

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