It doesn't matter how weak or strong the economy is, there are always sectors of the job market that are growing and those that are shrinking. There are also certain areas of the job market that are difficult to break into.
Attribution: Flickr - geralt
The following techniques can be applied in any economy where you are having trouble breaking into a new work area. They are especially useful when the economy is weak.
Note: I found my first job during a world
recession, worked in job areas that are hard to break into and have changed careers. Each time there were the same challenges that I struggled through to overcome.
Time: As long as it takes to get a job
Get a job, any job.
It doesn't matter what you are doing as long as you are working. If there is any restriction on this, it is better to have something that is flexible and doesn't consume all your time, as obviously you want enough time to find a better job and launch your career.
Attribution: Sean MacEntee
I know people who are working in the fast food or retail industries after graduation. They take as many hours as they can get and then complain that they have little time or energy to look for work.
Get a job that has the skills related to the one you want
Think creatively about this. Most jobs require a range of different skills and while you might not be able to get a job directly related to you career choice it is always possible to get work that builds up appropriate skills.
Take the example of networking and information management. Most first jobs are help desk jobs, but finding these jobs are very difficult. So while trying to find a technology related job why not work on your help desk and customer service skills with a non-technical help desk job.
I broke into the adult education market by obtaining experience in one-to-one tutoring, doing fill in roles at work for classes and then obtaining an opportunity for teaching a class.
Any job in the area counts
I know someone who wanted to be a commercial pilot. It costs tens of thousands of dollars with the problem that there are literally no jobs for inexperienced pilots except out in far remote locations. So after getting his pilots licence he packed his car and drove off to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere just to get a first job.
attribution: Pixabay - christopher
Now he works his dream job flying commuter aircraft back in his home city, but only because he took that first job. I also know people who have also studied to become a commercial pilot, then didn't even try to look for work as "It was too hard".
Make your own job
One of the side effects of having a qualified but unemployed population is that these people will try and create their own jobs and business, often successfully.
Attribution: Pixabay - geralt
With some creative thinking you can even land jobs you create in companies. I have persuaded companies to employ me to rewrite their training materials and I even know someone who wrote research grants for free for universities until he won the grants and could give the money to the university to give him a job.
There is a lot of current debate about the internship experience. Many companies seem to be relying on them to get free work. So choosing the right internship or volunteer opportunity is important.
The best internships are associated with projects, your performance is measured and training is provided. It is also helpful to have a specific supervisor or you may end up not having any real work to do or in the end having trouble finding someone to provide you with a reference.
The pay off
If you are able to find work in a weak market you actually have a very good long-term pay when the market picks up again because there will be fewer people with your level of experience around. So if your mind is set on a career or you are looking for a job, hard work can pay off.