"Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late."
   — Marilyn Ferguson

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Who Says April Is the Cruelest Month?

Early Spring has always brought an admixture of forces to bear both on the land and our expectations. This spring has been no different: for two weeks we were deluged by rains of Noah’s Ark proportions; the Charles River nearly overflowed into the basement office of our building. Now, there are sunny warm days that would please even the most demanding denizen of the Santa Monica beach scene. On the job front, the story is much the same. Currently, we have few landings to report. Some people have started at jobs, but have either failed to send in the particulars yet, or are not sure enough of the job to want to get the news out. Others are still mired in that late winter overcoat of offers stalled by leaden-footed or timid employers too fearful of making a mistake to act. So spring brings both hope and frustration. As T.S. Eliot famously wrote: “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering earth in forgetful snow…” So don’t be surprised by mixed messages — and feelings — this month. But take heart: the 2010 CareerXroads Annual Source of Hire Study finds that “2010 looks bright…This year only 10.8% [of companies surveyed] predicted further reductions in hiring while 48% expect to grow and the remainder to hold steady.” That’s quite a change from last year when “not a single firm predicted they would fill more openings in 2009 than the previous year!” The report is also quite interesting in its tracking of where hires come from. Over 50% of hires came from internal sources. Of external hires, 26.7% came from referrals. (Proof positive from a different angle that networking is so important in the job search process.) Corporate career sites came in second with 22.3% of external hires so don’t neglect them in your activities for the week. Job boards represented a respectable 12.3% of external hires, and the authors of the study noted that it would be premature to turn away from this source as “There is much life in this category.” Not surprising, as we have more MPNers that find jobs through the big boards than you would think. Direct sourcing was responsible for 6.9% of external hires. This category encompassed both recruiters and social networking. The latter, the authors thought, “is still in its early stages vis-à-vis attributed hires”. However, more and more companies are using Social Media to source candidates as anecdotal evidence from around the table at MPN meetings would confirm. The three top company initiatives using Social Media: Facebook Fan Page, Official Company Blog, and LinkedIn Groups. In short, much of this is familiar; but the prospects they report for 2010 are as new and fresh as those bright yellow daffodils in the garden. And they’re backed up by the experience of one MPNer who had been out much too long for her own liking who is this day looking at two firm offers and two solid potential ones. In short, this is your year. Carpe diem. [Source for CareerXroads study: http://www.careerxroads.com/news/SourcesOfHire10.pdf]

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