Monday, February 23, 2009
Help Your Career By Stepping Onto a Sinking Ship
Who, in their right mind, would jump onto the Titanic instead of off?
In this tough job market, maybe it should be you.
This may not make any sense at first blush, but when you consider the payoff, you may just decide it's a risk worth taking.
Let's say that you're looking for work, or you believe that your job may be in trouble. Why would you take a job with a company that looks to be on shaky ground?
The most obvious reason is that it will give you an opportunity you might not otherwise have. For example, you're re-entering the job market after taking years off to raise your kids. Or, perhaps your age is preventing you from getting a job in many companies -- you're either too young or too old or too inexperienced or perhaps even too desperate. But a company that is equally desperate -- all their top-notch talent has already left the building -- may be just the place willing to take a chance on you.
So, even if the job doesn't last very long, it gives you exactly what you need: Experience.
Let's consider another reason to jump onto a sinking ship: The address would look good on the resume. Maybe you've had second- or third-tier jobs up until now. No impressive titles or big names to rock the world of a recruiter looking through thousands of resumes. But now an opportunity comes along to either grab that fancy title or the prestige of the company name. With those under your belt, a whole new world of opportunities may be opened to you.
Of course, one of the best reasons to jump into a leaky boat is because you're probably going to work like a dog. Everything and anything is going to be thrown your way, the rulebook will probably be burned and you may notice the captain heading for the exit. Good. Now is the time when you're going to learn the most, when it's going to take all your smarts and daring and ingenuity just to keep your head above water. You're going to work like a dog, and your time will be measured the same way -- one year at that job will be like seven years somewhere else. But every one of those things you learn will be valuable in one way or another. You'll be able to tell other employers what you learned and how that can be put to work for them. That's the stuff that makes any resume sing and a hiring manager sit up and take notice.
Finally, bosses that are still on a sinking ship are much more likely to let you spread your wings. They're going to let you cut in line, they're going to listen to more of your ideas and make you a key part of any process. Why? Because they know that you're fighting to save your ass -- and you could save theirs in the process.
What are some other considerations for anyone contemplating taking a job with a company that may be on shaky ground?