Is career discovery relevant during a recession?

Article Title: Is career discovery relevant during a recession?
Author Byline: Amit Puri is the Managing Consultant at Sandbox Advisors. He has over 10 years of business and HR related experience, with companies such as Bain & Co, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Sandbox Advisors is based in Singapore and provides career management and HR consulting services in Asia.
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When times are good, it is easier for people to pursue work that they will love. This is simply because their basic needs are being met and hence they look to satisfy higher level needs. However, during bad times, when people are losing their jobs and there are fewer jobs available, people are less concerned with finding their ideal job.

This is why one important component of career discovery is being realistic. The process/outcome must be practical and take into account business reality and your personal constraints (financial, family, time, and so on). It is also a good idea to try to aim for a mix of jobs in terms of ease of attainment:

Reach – jobs which will not be very easy to get, based on your current education and experience. You might need to get additional training/education to attain these

Fit – jobs which are a good match, based on your education and experience. You will be very competitive for these roles

Safe – jobs for which you are slightly overqualified. The hiring manager would find it hard not to hire you for the position

Some scenarios to consider:

a) If the ideal jobs you identify during career discovery are in areas where you already have relevant work experience, education, training, skills and so on; then the discovery process will help you showcase and market yourself very effectively during the job search

b) In case your ideal jobs require you to obtain new education/training/skills, then focus your efforts on keeping your current job, or finding jobs (fit/safe category) that match your existing experience. The output from a career discovery exercise, will help you conduct a better job search here also. Use some of your spare time to obtain necessary education/training/skills, so that when the market turns you are prepared to get your ideal job right away.

c) You might lie somewhere in between the above extremes i.e. your ideal jobs are a mix of (a) and (b). You could then use a mix of the two approaches, depending on your personal circumstances

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

About the author, Chief Executive Restaurant Recruiter

Born in Arkansas, moved to FL for 3 years as a youngster. Lived in GA most of my life. Married in 1985, 2 kids, one of each. Graduate of USNA Class of 1980. Love golf, computers, poker, photography, and gadgets.

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