cashI know these days the media is reporting the gloom and doom of the market and sending people into a panic because of the break neck speed that the country is losing jobs. With more people entering the job market, opportunities are scarce and pay seems to be cut or stagnant. So what do you do? You’re facing a pink slip and you need to feed your family, right.

Well I recently read an article where they tell readers to accept whatever they can get because it’s only temporary. I disagree. I have only been a person who believed in getting what I’m worth. I have a set of skills and talent that have kept me in demand and that I have worked long and hard at refining over the years. I am not oblivious to the world around me and I realize that we need to do what needs to be done for ourselves and our families. But I also believe that I value myself as a professional and I will not taint that value by accepting lower than I’m worth. There was a time where I would take whatever the pay was just so I would have a contract or client. Those days are no more.  If you start discounting yourself it’ll be hard to recover. Employers will feel that you don’t value your own self so why should they.

I’m here to tell you that there are opportunities out there. Don’t be mislead by the media and the news reports. I did a little experiment the other day. I went into Google and set several alerts to come to my email on a daily basis. I set keywords “job fairs”, “hiring”, “IT jobs”, “executive search” and “finance jobs”. In the past week, I have gotten notices of companies doing some major hiring and job opportunities posted on the web. So there ARE opportunities to speak of. You just have to look for them. Don’t be duped into accepting just anything simply because you think it’s the only thing available. You have to believe in yourself, your value and your skills and understand you are a marketable commodity. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t diminish your value ever. One you figure out what it is you’re worth, stick to that number. If you come across a job you absolutely want and the salary is lower, find out if there are other things that can be done to offset it. Will they pay for education or certifications? Will you have flex work schedules or be able to work from home? Will you be allowed to progress through the company at a rate you’re comfortable with? Of course money shouldn’t be the primary factor, but it should be a major factor.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what you’re comfortable with. Understand what you bring to the table and what you are worth. Don’t compromise your principals for the sake of a check. If you have a strong enough network and do your research (and due diligence) you will find the right opportunities. Hang in there. You are worth it. You just have to believe it.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham