Jumping into the job market for the first time can be anxiety-inducing, but seeking sales positions in a down economy can feel overwhelming to a young professional just entering the working world. Facing an uncertain job market with news of constant layoffs makes it hard not to worry. And when the term recession becomes a more frequent descriptor of the state of the economy, Gen Zers especially, who are just starting their careers, can become understandably nervous. Responsible expectations like building savings and putting away money towards your retirement fund can be scary when you are worried about high interest rates, paying back student loans and layoffs across industries.
To calm some of the natural anxiety that comes with a challenging job market and a difficult economy, an actionable plan can help Gen Zers find success during the hiring process. Those who have not yet launched their professional career and those already job hunting or in the early stages of their careers can strategically act and change their mindset to make the current climate less difficult to navigate.
Preparing to Launch
If you are on the cusp of jumping into the job market and still living at home you may be overwhelmed. But that doesn’t mean that you should not be strategizing the most effective way to position yourself for your upcoming life change. There are key ways for young people to prepare themselves for this next stage of life.
First, and most importantly, educate yourself about money management. Failing to understand the basics of budgeting, effective use of funds and when to (and not to) seek financial support like loans or taking on credit card debt can sometimes create insurmountable financial obstacles in a young person’s life. If the economy continues to sour or takes longer than expected to rebound, making smart financial decisions at every age will be critical to finding and retaining a stable job.
Next, prepare for what’s to come by making sure that your expectations for career experience line up with what you want to do. Sales recruiters and sales staffing agencies love to help out job seekers who can show that they have consistently worked toward preparing themselves for their professional lives. Starting early can help a young person better understand their chosen career path as well as ensure that they are as prepared as possible in a potentially highly competitive job market or choosing to pursue a career with a company that values employee retention strategies.
Strategic Actions to Help You Navigate an Uncertain Job Market
For young people who are facing a challenging job market, acting strategically can help decrease anxiety about the uncontrollable, like the economy while focusing on tangible ways to weather this storm. Whether you already have a job but want to take the next step or you have yet to land your first position with the help of executive recruiters, preparing yourself for a tough economic season can help you keep your professional life on track while creating stability, so the ups and downs are less impactful.
1. Track Your Spending
The first way that young professionals can navigate an uncertain job market is to track where they are spending their income or savings and creating a realistic budget that you can stick to. When job opportunities are slim, increases in compensation may be delayed or a solid job offer has not yet materialized, understanding where your current money is going can help you create a realistic budget. Every social coffee date, quick lunch out or drinks with friends can add up quickly, as well as splurges on luxury items and travel. Many young people may have just moved out of their family home or into their own place after college, so regularly tracking all of the places that their hard-earned funds go can help staunch a bank account from hemorrhaging and causing financial distress.
2. Live Below Your Means
As a young person just starting in their professional life, learning to live below your means is an excellent way to weather a challenging economy and tight job market. A realistic budget can help you create financial stability but living below your means is a great way to store up extra funds and avoid impulse spending. This ability to resist spending every, or almost every, penny you make will allow you to have a cushion when an unexpected layoff occurs or when job searching takes longer than expected. When you have budgeted down to the last cent of your paycheck, extra but necessary expenses can throw off your financial balance and throw you into a tailspin of overspending, debt and career desperation unnecessarily.
3. Keep Your Resume Updated
Even if your current job placement seems ideal, keeping your resume up to date is a critical step in staying on top of your career. Layoffs and professional changes in job placement can happen unexpectedly, so regularly updating your resume with new skills, relevant experience or even accolades within your industry can help you quickly jump on a job opportunity without having to delay to extensively polish your resume first. Many companies put employee retention as a priority, so even if you want to leverage an internal promotion with an outside job offer, a prepped and up-to-date resume will ensure that your most important career accomplishments are not overlooked with a quick redo of the resume. A company looking to hire sales reps may have a time-sensitive job opportunity for you to consider, but the candidate with a quick resume turnaround could have the advantage over a similarly qualified candidate who needed multiple days to rework their resume before submitting it for consideration.
4. Get Professional Support
Budgeting time and money toward your professional job search may seem out of reach for many young people. However, finding professional support can be a helpful tool that catapults your attractiveness to potential employers by showing that you value your personal and professional development. An executive search company hiring sales positions may mean reviewing hundreds of applicant resumes for consideration. Even a missing period on a resume can sideline an otherwise excellent candidate, so make sure that you seek professional advice and get plenty of eyes on your resume drafts to avoid grammar or word choice errors on this key document. In addition to always curating your current resume, staying connected with recruiting firms, sales recruiters and sales staffing agencies is an excellent way to ensure they remember you when a potential job opening arises. Using a business’s support tools, interacting with them on social media or regularly checking in with the personnel who hire sales reps can help you stay one step ahead of other candidates, easing the challenges of a tight job market or difficult economic environment.
Motivation to Be Proactive
The best-laid plans of a professional salesperson don’t always result in the perfect career trajectory. You might have an ideal resume, excellent educational background and impeccable career experience, but when the job market, economy or both are challenging, doing the right things can make you attractive to potential employers and help you navigate an uncertain professional future at a moment’s notice. Being prepared with money in the bank, a good handle on how to live below your means and utilizing professional support in keeping your resume up to date and keeping a pulse on the industry can mean the difference between taking a job you need and landing a job you love.