Job seeking in a recession

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I have read a number of articles recently that report how demoralised people are who are entering the job market – whether they are new PhD graduates leaving university or experienced researchers looking for a new post or career change. Job seekers report that there are no jobs available and where there are jobs, competition is fierce (even more so than usual). What is interesting in these articles, is a discussion around the issue that much of this perception seems to be coming from media reports of the job market, rather than actual experience.

In reality, some employers are reporting that applications for posts are down – with people assuming they have no chance and ruling themselves out. University careers services are reporting lower numbers of  job seekers at job fairs than in previous years.

I’m not suggesting that the job market is flourishing but perhaps there is more opportunity out there than you might think – especially if others are holding back. Have you talked yourself out of applying for something, or even thinking about your next move, because you think the marketplace is bleak? If so, where has this idea come from?

I’d be interested to know what your own experiences of this are, as well as those of your friends and colleagues.

Any thoughts or comments?


2 thoughts on “Job seeking in a recession

    Michelle Pierce said:
    29/06/2010 at 2:25 pm

    My husband is currently looking for an entry-level admin job in Newcastle, and is finding that job sites and newspapers are totally devoid of vacancies. There is literally nothing for him to apply for. I am also keeping half an eye on the job market for myself for when I finish my postdoc, and am a little shocked at how few postdoc vacancies are being advertised compared to when I finished my PhD. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, or maybe there really aren’t many jobs out there.


    Viccy Adams said:
    06/07/2010 at 4:55 pm

    Friends currently looking for academic posts are finding it very difficult to get a foot in the door anywhere, due to the number of applicants for each post. Everyone’s fairly despondent about it, but nobody has given up yet. One of the hardest things to take is the number of institutions who don’t send even a form letter or email out informing them that their application has been unsuccessful, which seems a bit harsh.


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