How do you find a job in the new economy? Use a new approach

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There is little question that the new economy has brought changes in the way business is done. It is painfully obvious to those seeking positions in the financial industry that business-as-usual is anything but the same-as-it-ever-was. The good news is that the changes can work to your advantage.

The new economy is one that requires workers to be far more adaptable; always on the prowl, and in a state of perpetual job search. What you have done and what has worked in the past (and what is most comfortable) in most cases will not work for you anymore.

An entrepreneurial approach

This new approach is less like pursuing a career and more like running your own small business. It requires an entrepreneurial approach—one that recognizes that your employ-ability is about the range of skills you can bring to an organization (not what your previous position was). That means your experience and accomplishments must reflect a broad set of skills.

Now, more than ever, it is important to show hiring managers that you're passionate about your work, you think in terms of possibilities instead of pitfalls, you're adaptable in difficult circumstances, you're a motivator for those who are around you and you're determined to succeed. That's the entrepreneurial spirit today's employers seek in job candidates.

What you bring to the job market

Take a look at your situation—how, in your past, you have performed in your job and how you have searched for a new position? The difference today is that you need to look at what you bring to the job market, not how suited you are for any one type of job. What you can market today is a skill set, and it is something that is transferable to positions and opportunities beyond what you may have considered in the past. This requires stepping outside your comfort zone.

Certainly you are extremely qualified for what you have been doing, but the industry is shape-shifting and reinventing positions left and right. Last year’s cogs and gears have no place in the new virtual, innovative, cloud-based, streamlined corporate machine being installed throughout the industry.

Proactively find hiring managers

Changes within the industry have made it vital that you are proactive and creative in your job search. Find hiring managers rather than waiting for them to find you. Use your personal network and digital assets to obtain inside company information and contacts. When you identify a good fit, reach out to a hiring manager directly with a concise e-mail that shows you know what they need and how you could be part of the solution. Then follow up.

But even though the hum and buzz is all about digital-online-internet communication, nothing ever beats face-to-face (or at least voice-to-voice) interaction. Click less and talk/visit more. Get out of the chair and onto your feet, whether it is down the hall to another department to make a connection or to lunch with a colleague. Or just make a call to a friend or associate. Develop a relationship, and start a conversation. You are six degrees of separation from that next job.

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