Executive Careers Blog

Your Jobless Recovery Game Plan

Help Wanted

It is abundantly clear that we are at the beginning of an economic recovery, with many positive signs from U.S. companies and from abroad.

While the recession may have ended – officially – this is likely to be a jobless recovery. In a jobless recovery, profits increase but companies are conservative and don’t hire back jobs that were cut during the recession. Productivity has increased (that’s corporate speak for employees are working harder) and technology has allowed also for fewer workers.

All job categories have been hit in this recession and executives are no exception. If you are a manager or exec who has lost her job – or even if you’re still hanging by your fingernails – there are some things worth considering as you contemplate your next career move during a jobless recovery:

· Stop being stubborn. You may not be able to get a job at companies that meet your career goals and it may be time to start broadening your search. Look into similar industries, different locations and even the idea of switching careers.

· On the other hand, target certain companies that you prefer, and stay on their radar. Things change, jobs open – be in a better position to get the job.

· Relocation may have to be an option. For years, jobseekers have been fortunate enough to find jobs in their own backyard, but that idea has to change. Look elsewhere for jobs that meet your skill set and career goals. At worst, you can come back home when the employment situation improves. At best, you may enjoy your new job enough to stay.

· You may want to start looking for jobs in healthcare, education, government and the environment. We expect to see growth in those industries in the coming years due to a number of factors (i.e. healthcare reform, a push for new green jobs, turnover in government and the creation of new jobs in the industry, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will pump money into education)

· Go back to school. This is not for everyone. Do not just decide you want to be a lawyer and then go back to school to pursue this goal without doing the research, but if you have always wanted to change careers, or go to college or grad school, now may be the best time to do it.

· Don’t shy away from volunteer work, internships and part-time and temp work. Not only will taking these routes keep you busy during a recession, but it will also help jobseekers add skills to their resumes, make contacts in the industry, and offer opportunities for full-time work should openings become available.

· Just because the news says we are experiencing a jobless recovery, does not mean that there are no jobs out there. Tap into your network and keep making the effort to get in front of the right people. The right referral could lead to a job.

More Executive Strategies on CNBC.com:Where To Find A Job NowHottest States For Green JobsExecutive Career Strategies

Erik Sorenson is CEO of Vault, the Web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search intelligence. Vault provides top talent with the insider information they need to make critical career decisions. An Emmy award-winning media industry veteran, Erik served as president of the MSNBC cable news channel through 2004. His experience spans radio, local and network broadcast television, cable and syndicated TV, and the Web. Comments?  Send them to executivecareers@cnbc.com