This afternoon, I was fortunate to spend time with the head of our HR department – an individual with experience in the industry from GE, Helen Curtis, and Unilever. One topic we spoke about is the job market outlook. While I shared the market is improved for new college hires as compared to 2010, he noted that the quality of applicant has risen quite sharply for openings. This can be attributed to individuals willing to leave the safety of their job for the chance at a better opportunity.
Through the conversation, the executive shared some strategies for those in the midst of a search. He encourages individuals to consider part-time/contract/project work while hunting for a full-time job. Not only does this give one experience and grows a skill set, it allows the individual the opportunity to be the ‘internal’ candidate should something come along. Many may say that part-time opportunities are just as hard to find – and this is true if one is looking on a job board. Instead, use networking conversations to identify problems or projects networking contacts need to complete – but don’t have the resources or time to do so. Offer your services and lay out a proposal of how you would approach the project in order to make your case for being hired.
This is a unique way to bridge the gap between full-time opportunities, strengthen contacts, and build new skill sets. An interesting strategy to help those in transition.