Work Harder and Smarter for Better Career Results

Let's face it: the job market is bad and the economy is worse. That's why this is the time to push harder than ever in conducting your job search and managing your career. In addition to working harder, you'll need to work smarter as well.

Are you upset that you didn't “ace” your last job interview? Are you feeling like a failure because the job you wanted went to another candidate? When times are tough and things look bleak, it's tempting to just “throw in the towel” and feel sorry for yourself, isn't it? Well, a lot of people are doing exactly that. They're “taking their foot off the gas” and coasting, or wallowing in self-pity and frustration. Many are exhausted, tapped-out and tired of all the rejection.

When your competition has decided to “sit out” the rest of the game, that's the worst time for YOU to quit — because now you can have every employer's attention! There's actually much less “noise” out there for your message to compete against. Push ahead now, and you'll be noticed. Leverage smart career strategies, and you'll quickly see the signs of success.

Stay focused on your goals and “stick to your guns”

When the economy is in bad shape and the job market is frozen, many well-qualified, hard working people start to lower their sights. For them, “any job” becomes preferable to no job. Getting another position (ANY position) as quickly as possible appears to make sense because, as they say, “you can always keep looking” and “it's easier to get a new job when you already have a job.”

But this is flawed thinking — and I've seen it backfire too many times NOT to warn you against it. If you take the first job that comes along, you'll get complacent. Inertia and fear will set in. In the short term, it will certainly feel good to have a job to go to each morning. However, as weeks turn into months and months turn into years, you could find yourself stuck in that job you took “just to pay the bills.” Pretty soon, you may lose your career bearings and with every passing day, the notion of initiating another job transition will become more unpleasant and scary.

What's the solution? When the job market is at its worst, you need to be MORE selective. You need to focus on EXACTLY the kind of work you would LOVE to do. You need to identify precisely the kind of company you want to join. You need to confidently “stick to your guns,” and not "settle." You need to be crystal clear on the ideal work situation for you — and go after it relentlessly. While you may need to make a few minor concessions in a down market, you shouldn't compromise your professional standards in any way.

Career success is still an “inside job”

No matter how bad external circumstances get, your real battle is INTERNAL. You need to pay close attention to how you're thinking! As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.” If you maintain a high level of focus and clarity, it will come through in every phase of your job search and career management efforts. Hiring managers will be able to sense this, and you'll stand out from the crowd.

Unlike your competition, YOU will exude confidence, focus, and “fit” — because you've laser-targeted the kind of job where you can do your best work and deliver maximum value. Conducting a job search and managing your career really is an “inside job” — and you have far more control over your results than you might have thought! So, it's critically important to shift your attention away from today's dire market conditions, and toward your own mindset. You can't control external circumstances, but you CAN control how you deal with them.

Take a good look at your own situation. How are YOU coping with current market pressures? If you're having difficulty staying focused and motivated — if you're feeling discouraged and defeated — you can always get career help. With the proper support and resources, you'll start producing much better results.

Remember that even in this challenging job market, plenty of people just like you are sticking with their career strategies. They're advancing in their careers and, yes, even landing great opportunities. There's no reason why YOU shouldn't be able to move your career forward and enjoy the same success!

Copyright © 2010, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” For information about career services and products, visit and

Author's Bio: 

Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. Since 1992, he has been providing professional services in career consulting and executive coaching. His firm helps executives and professionals to take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Career Potential also offers a leading training and certification opportunity called “Ultimate Career Consultants” (

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