MSEJ August 2017 - Page 5

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Understand the industry and its outlook.

What’s happening in your individual industry directly influences what jobs are available to you and when they may be available. We should all be aware of trends in our industry (to stay marketable and relevant) anyway, but knowing whether automation has led to a decrease in the positions in your field or if a new certification is now required can help you to better

understand how your application will be received.

For some industries, it’s important to understand when hiring seasons occur (and to realize that hiring seasons may vary according to geography).

Understand your local economy and culture.

When I started looking for teaching jobs in South Carolina during my husband’s basic training, I was really surprised when I started getting calls immediately and ten at a time. I’m from Pennsylvania, and it’s usually hard to find a teaching job in Pittsburgh (or at least it was 12 years ago). Furthermore, Pennsylvania students started school at the end of August, while South Carolina started school in early August.

I was caught entirely by surprise due to my lack of knowledge about the local school culture (its calendar and the teacher shortage the state was experiencing). So, I wasn’t prepared to take interview screening calls. I had no idea where I might want to work or how far I might want to commute from the base.

Additionally, understanding the local culture can help you identify companies that are military friendly. We know that many job seekers have experienced unpleasant interviews at times, so it’s important to consider what local companies may be committed to hiring military job seekers.

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