If so, you are part of the so called “long-term unemployed” folks. This is obviously not a fun place to be. While things seem to be improving on the Calgary employment scene, we still have a high percentage of long-term unemployed workers; 20.3% of total unemployed people are classified as long-term unemployed.

What to do? We’ve put together a few tips for people in this position:

1. Self Assessment: If you’ve been out of work for 12 months, you may be a bit beaten up. You may be emotionally drained, you may be financially strapped, you may have taken on some habits that are not supportive, and/or you may have strained relationships with people you really care about. First step is to take a look at your current situation and deal with what you need to deal with. Job search is much like building a structure; you need a solid foundation. Seek out the appropriate professional as needed.

2. Career Transition or Outplacement: Did you have access to these types of services when you left your last organization? If yes, when was the last time you had contact with your consultant? If it’s been a while, it’s time to reach out to your consultant to reconnect and find out if you still have access to your services. Reputable organizations may extend support beyond original program timelines. For example, Cenera does not have set timelines on their programs. When you reach out, be clear about how your consultant can help you. See our recent posting on “Getting the Most out of Working with a Career Consultant”. If you did not have access to Career Transition services, then it may be worth hiring a Career Coach to assist with the process. You could contact Cenera for a free consultation or do a LinkedIn search for “career coach” and/or “career consultant”.

3. Value Proposition: What do you bring to employers that will help them drive revenues, increase margins, cut expenses, improve diversity; you get the idea. In this situation, you need to be very clear about how you will benefit the organization. Write out your key accomplishments. Sometimes, it helps to think of differentiators. If we brought the top 10 candidates for a position into one room (of course you are one of them), what do you bring to the table that many of the other candidates wouldn’t bring?

4. Activity Evaluation: What have you been doing up to this point? How are you spending your time? It’s time to make a critical evaluation of what you’ve been doing with your days. Have other “activities” entered your life and taken up chunks of time? While this can sometimes be healthy, it’s important to put in the job search time to make things happen. Have you sent 100’s of resumes and gotten few interviews? Then it may be time to look at your application packages. Are you getting interviews, but not getting to the offer stage? Then it may be time to look at your interviewing skills. In times of high unemployment, the percentage of people that land in a new position through someone they know increases. Are you spending time reconnecting with old connections? How about connecting with people that you don’t know through introductions?

These tips should help get you back on the right track. Stay tuned for more tips in Part II.

Visit our Career Transition page for more information.

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