Wall Street Shakeup Changes the Job-Search Game

By Joe Turner, for Yahoo! HotJobs

The recent Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch sell-off are just tips of a much larger iceberg that will have far reaching economic implications for all of us in the United States. Tens of thousands of layoffs in and beyond the financial industry will signal more sober times as companies across the country will be forced into rethinking their future hiring plans.

Investors are primed for even more bad news. For example, how the untold costs of Hurricane Ike will hit the insurance and energy industries. Further drops in the stock market and other economic losses will also likely occur in the weeks ahead.

One fact seems certain. All of these circumstances will combine to have huge ramifications for job seekers. The combination of a failing economy along with rising unemployment will require individuals to take a fresh approach to their job search.

Referencing the most recent economic crisis, Neil McNulty, principal recruiter, McNulty Management Group states, "The game has changed, but the rules remain the same: Now, more than ever, job seekers need to change their mindset from looking for 'openings' to looking for 'opportunities' ... and opportunities are borne out of crisis and chaos, and exist even in the worst economy."

This means that you, as a job seeker, must look beyond job postings and move into marketing yourself to the managers of the companies and organizations who are experiencing problems that you can solve.

Action Steps:

1. Change your mindset from a passive job seeker to an active problem-solver. Don't just rely on the Internet to find job openings. Scour the marketplace to identify the hidden jobs that aren't advertised. Get yourself in front of people who are receptive to a problem-solving approach rather than one of "Will you hire me?"

2. Talk "results" rather than skills. Stop thinking of yourself as just an assortment of job skills and focus on results that employers want to buy. See yourself as a product to package and market, and then create your own marketing campaign to find your desired job. This includes having a state-of-the-art resume, and sharpening your interviewing skills.

3. Think and talk in terms of Return-on-Investment. View yourself as a mini Profit-and-Loss center for an employer. Be prepared to talk the language of money and demonstrate ways you have helped to positively impact the bottom line of your past or current employer. This means demonstrating ways you've helped make money or save money for your employer or their clients. As employees, we all touch money, though some of us may be closer to it than others. All of us must find ways to prove that we make or save money, and be ready to indicate that in short "sound bites" when we get the opportunity.

Joseph P. Kennedy said many years ago, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." That statement is just as true today as it was then. In this tough economy, whether employed or not, we all share something in common. We all have to get tough, and we all have to get going.

As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of "Job Search Secrets Unlocked" and "Paycheck 911," Joe has interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job search secrets at jobchangesecrets.com.