How To Survive in Today's Marketplace by Michael Rosner

Mar 6 '12

How to Survive in Today’s Marketplace by Michael Rosner

Easier said than done but let’s get some basics down on paper and let’s do a reality check.

Questions one may ask themselves:

  • Why did I lose my Job?
  • Up to three years ago it was enviable to be in the same position with the same company for many years; now that is a liability?
  • You may have grown older, lost some hair gained a few pounds or wrinkles, but you are the same talented person that your company hired “X” years ago; I didn’t become less intelligent!
  • Why should I suffer through a salary/bonus cut? Your earnings represent your commensurate experience and contribution to the company?
  • A few years back a BA/BS was enough for your job? What does a Master do to help get the job done?
  • Look at my new boss? Why was I passed over? How is it possible that my intern of 5 years ago is now my boss?
  • I have so much to offer? Why can’t I get a job with my extensive experience?
  • Why can’t I find a job?
  • Why can’t I apply to jobs out of my field! I can do any job with my knowledge and past experience.
  • Why are my applications to jobs not getting a response? What am I doing wrong? I am following the market rules? What is wrong with me?

Questions an employer is asking:

  • Over the past three years my business has been decimated. I can’t afford to do business as usual. To stay alive I must clean house or I will be on the unemployment line
  • Now that I am re-staffing why would I hire a guy only trained in one job and brought up in one culture? I’d rather have someone who has been around who can incorporate various cultures and bring best practices into my “house”
  • I can save tons of money by hiring new staff. It’s an employer’s market. Now is the best time for me to take advantage of the talent available.
  • If I am hiring let me get the best and brightest. Only an MBA will do. After all what is a BA worth with today’s education being what it is.
  • I can elevate a younger, mobile, less expensive staff into management positions insuring they will maintain their allegiance towards the company. Guidance will be learned on the job!
  • Why hire a specialist when I can get a fresh generalist and mold him/her into a job specific to my companies needs? In time they will become the specialist needed; specifically for me!
  • Even though my past employers can run circles around the new hires, they can’t run the marathon; I need younger blood for that. Also new technology is better understood by a new generation. After a few months or a year who will run circles around whom?
  • Man, these guys sending me resumes that don’t fit the job I’m posting are so annoying. I will only post my jobs internally! I hate getting an answer for my accounting job from an IT guy simply because he worked for a finance company. What’s he thinking?
  • You should see the cover letters I’m getting- I don’t even bother opening their resumes? I have no idea what they are replying too!

What YOU can do to improve your chances:

There is no guaranteed answer to either side of the story but there are positive steps that a jobseeker can take to improve his/her situations

  • Be POSITIVE. Know that if you lost your job over the past 3 years or you are subjugated to working for less then you deserve, it’s probably NOT YOUR FAULT. Don’t take it out on yourself. As the common phrase goes “It’s the economy- stupid” and has nothing to do with you. Please - stop beating yourself up!
  • Stuck in one place with your company for a long time? Fight that stigma by taking software or other up to date classes and put that on your resume. This shows you are taking the imitative in keeping up with technology. If you have a bit more time volunteer in your local community for anything, it not only looks good on your resume it shows you are being proactive and able to do other tasks.
  • There are 3 things they say about finding a job (which is similar to what they say about finding a home) NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK! Whether you are at a wedding, gym, synagogue, kiddush, job fair or just hanging out, networking is the way to go. Do you remember how you got your last job? Chances are you were recommended. That is the way to go today. You have to fight your shyness and get out.
  • If you are offered a lower paying job then you are accustomed to having and if you have been unemployed to the point where your benefits have expired or are about to expire TAKE THE JOB! First, it gets you out of the house. Second, it allows you to interact with people. Third, it usually allows you to keep your ears open if something better comes along. I can give you tons of examples how people started at lower paying jobs and in a matter of a year or two worked their way back up. You may not reach your high but you will regain your confidence and hopefully your living.
  • If you have the time (and money) try to get a higher degree or take classes to improve your employment skills. Here is a crazy tip; learn CPR and put that on your resume, you will probably be one of a very few candidates that have that training and may be hired because of it! I know of 2 cases!
  • If you are an older person remember your biggest assets; experience, patience and the ability to work straight through and handle crises. Try to express that during an interview. Saying yes to an inferior job may give you the chance to start building your way up. Don’t be too proud to only see the small picture; if an opportunity arises that you are overqualified for- take it! Tell the employer you want to take the job even though you may be over qualified. This is a very difficult and sometimes depressing and demoralizing step, however chances are it will lead to a better position in a few months or year as the employer begins to notice what you can do. I can tell you from personal experience all about this. One day…..
  • PLEASE learn to write a correct cover letter, learn to format your resumes correctly and learn to target your resume towards the job you are applying for. Also, apply for jobs that you are qualified for ONLY. If you think for a half a second that an employer is going to hire an accountant for an IT job because they both know how to count to 10 you are WRONG. Not only will you not get the job but the employer will never call you back for a job that you might be trained for. You are hurting your own chances.
  • Accept the fact that your new boss may be 20 years younger. I know it’s hard to swallow but that is the facts. Instead of opposing their judgments find favor in offering useful suggestions every once in a while when ASKED. Put your nose to the ground and do your job. Once you have put facts on the ground you will be noticed.

Of course nothing in this world is guaranteed and there are always exceptions to the rule. However in more cases than not, taking some of these suggestions feeling better about yourself and coming to an interview with a positive attitude will help you get hired. Now get out there and take your first positive steps!


About Michael "Srulie" Rosner

Michael Rosner is the International Director of the OU Job Board. Applying his 25+ years of experience in the business world to the Non-Profit sector, Michael has grown the OU Job Board into the largest Jewish Job Board worldwide. More than 6,000 people have been put back to work since he assumed the Job Board position four years ago, and Srulie has managed to retrain and retool close to 5,000 people in various skills over just the past two years. Michael keeps up with his 400,000 constituents through his blogging and direct e- mail campaigns, allowing people to touch base with the OU Job Board and utilize the variety of social services it now provides.

A China “expert” by trade, Michael‘s ability to communicate with all types of personalities and to break down complicated issues into practical levels made him a successful CEO and master salesman throughout his career. Michael has a BA in economics with honors as well as a Rabbinic ordination from HaRav Reuven Feinstein of Yeshiva of Staten Island.

He has been and is involved in various local community boards, charitable institutions and outreach programs on a local and national basis

Michael resides on Staten Island with his wife Judy. His two children, now married, along with his six grandchildren, live in the greater New York -New Jersey area.