Monday, January 11, 2010

Job Opportunities Are Everywhere

The job market is tough, isn’t it? During times of economic uncertainty businesses are laying people off or are undergoing hiring freezes. People are losing their homes, the housing market down, and people are scared. It seems that the world is getting tougher and tougher, and many of us wonder what the future will look like for our kids.

If you are looking for a job or had been planning to start a business, it may now seem as though there are no opportunities out there at all. However, that is only one way to look at the current situation. What you need most in order to succeed in the job market is a strong, positive mindset. You need to understand that getting a job–any job, has a lot to do with how you think and the way you put your mind to use. A positive mindset can create a great deal of opportunity for you. But first you have to think and believe that opportunity is everywhere.This concept works.

After September 11, 2001, the market for corporate attorneys in Silicon Valley was at an absolute standstill. Law firms were at overcapacity with regard to corporate attorneys, and were letting them go as quickly as possible. At that time, I was doing legal recruiting and most of my business was in Silicon Valley. I remember getting calls from hundreds of laid-off attorneys looking for jobs. One day, I got a call from an attorney and I proceeded to give him the same story I had given thousands of times before:

The market is horrible.

There are no jobs.

Firms are laying people off as quickly as they can.

This is the biggest crisis in the history of Silicon Valley.

No one has ever seen a market this bad.

I basically told him everything I had told countless others before. There was nothing particularly impressive one way or another about either this man’s experience or education. He was pretty much just an average out-of-work corporate attorney in Silicon Valley. I saw his job prospects as rather grim.

“I am going to a retreat for a week this Friday,” he said, “and I plan on starting work in the next week or two after that. If you’d like I’d be happy to meet with you in your offices tomorrow.”

He was calling me from Mountain View, several hundred miles from where I was sitting in Los Angeles. I agreed to meet with him. He took a flight down a few days later.

Morrison & Foerster had an opening for an attorney at his level in a very small corporate group. I got him the interview and, somehow, he landed the job. Granted, he made a good impression in person, and I did do my best to get him the job; nevertheless, I believe it was his desire and the energy he was giving off that really got him the job. I cannot imagine how else this must have occurred; there were many other candidates who had been more qualified for the position. As it turned out, this man was the only corporate attorney I know of who was placed in California in the first six months after September 11.

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