Who Has Edge In Economic Recovery?

A slew of economic data indicate a recovery is looming, as consumer spending and manufacturing output and compensation increase. Major companies have announced hiring plans, including 12,000 from Starwood Hotels, 1,200 from Ford Motor Company and 600 from CarMax. However, with hundreds of thousands of workers in competition for jobs, job seekers will need every advantage to impress potential employers.

Hiring managers receive thousands of resumes for open positions. With the talent pool so large, employers use any method possible to weed out potential candidates. These range from credit checks to drug and health screenings. Some use these as character references; other methods indicate whether the candidate will be a potential liability.

It may seem controversial, as one’s credit score and health generally have little to do with most job functions. However, with the sheer number of job seekers applying, employers can afford to be picky.

According to a 2006 Society for Human Resource Management poll, 43 percent of employers conducted credit checks on potential employees, up from 25 percent in 1998. While employers may legally conduct credit checks on potential hires, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies must secure the candidates consent to do so. Further, if an employer decides not to hire an applicant because of information gleaned from the report, that employer must divulge this to the candidate.

Job seekers certainly do not need to discuss their credit during the interview process; however, they should take care to know everything listed on these reports. If the decision comes down to two equally qualified candidates, the employer may take the person with the better credit. Knowing where you stand will help you combat that decision, whether through logical explanations or examples of how you are the better choice despite what the credit check says.

In addition to credit checks, due to proposed health care legislation and rising costs to employers, some organizations are immediately eliminating candidates with unhealthy habits. Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN will no longer hire new employees who use any kind of tobacco products, on or off duty. In addition to their usual drug screenings, hires will also be tested for nicotine. The company cited employee well-being and the health of patients as the primary reason.

This practice is nothing new. Medical benefits administration company Weyco and Scotts Miracle Grow companies stopped hiring smokers in 2006. Weyco fired four workers who opted out of their mandatory nicotine screening. In 2005, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of benefits distributed an internal memo discussing ways to hire and retain healthier workers, according to the New York Times. Through education benefits, the company hoped to draw younger, presumably healthier employees.

There has been a trend for years to cultivate a healthier workforce. Only recently does candidate health seem to be a consideration in hiring practices.

Colleen Madden
Research Associate


Twitter: Building Yourself In 140 Characters Or Less

Twitter, like so many web 2.0 functions, has become the modern day sandwich board or news ticker or fortune cookie, etc. etc. In 140 characters at a time, you too can carve your niche, find your audience and get something back in the process.

Twitter is growing businesses, from cupcakes to executive coaching. Job seekers are posting their abilities, and recruiters are matching them to pertinent positions. News outlets are again finding relevancy, as the tumultuous industry moves print versions to online (see: Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

And you’ve heard it all before: Twitter is revolutionizing x, y and z. Look what it did for the Iran Election! Local rock bands are posting their next gigs… and people are going! Nomadic food vendors are giving their next locations…and people are going! Professional and motivational speakers are announcing their next conferences…and people are going!

We all knew the internet was something special, but even 10 years ago, we had no idea the power of instant communique! And it has not stopped with bands and food and government overthrows. The job seeker finally has an outlet to show themselves off!

Now more than ever, job seekers are not only finding job opportunities online, but are also marketing themselves online. LinkedIn, blogs and job boards give job seekers the ability to list their credentials in an eye-catching, sometimes witty, but definitely easy-to-see format, rather than just forage for information. Recruiters and employers are much more willing to take a look at something – anything – when it takes 10 seconds. And now, Twitter, whose interface allows users to publish streams of information to their “followers,” is becoming THE spot to pursue job leads, cultivate clients and get your name out there.

Twitter is fairly easy to use. If you want to reply to a fellow Twitterer, use @ and then their “handle.” If you want to repost an interesting tweet, use RT. But one of the most useful functions is the ability to redirect your followers to one of the above mentioned sites – allowing followers to visit blogs and LinkedIn pages they normally would not.

Reporters post links to their stories, companies post their url’s, bloggers post their blogs – the list goes on. Job seekers post links to their actual resumes! “Follow me and see what I can do.” It’s the pied piper of the 21st Century!

Using Twitter To Find A Job

1. Build your network. Challenger coaches advise job seekers to utilize every person in your personal and professional networks. With Twitter, you can grow this network to include hundreds of people.
2. Advertise your job loss. Although a job loss can be a trying, and sometimes humiliating, time for families and loved ones, telling your “followers” that you are looking for a job can be not only therapeutic, but also incredibly useful to finding a new position. Hundreds of recrutiers are on Twitter and have no problem following your tweets. You can cast a very wide net on Twitter with potential to net incredible results.
3. Think before you tweet. Twitter can be as anonymous as you want it to be. However, if you want to find a new position, you might want to spend some time on each tweet. Remember that you’re marketing yourself, you’re a product. Much like with blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., you don’t want to post anything that might cause pause (see: nude or racy photos, questionable content, etc.). Moreover, 140 characters limits your literary ability. What you read as witty, another might read as acerbic. What you think is funny, someone else might thing is offensive. Obviously, you want to show the world your best face, so keep this in mind when fashioning those 140 characters.
There are myriad ways you can utilize Twitter in your job search, so fear not! Keep those tweets coming and watch the job offers come in.

Colleen Madden
Research Consultant

Dress The Part: Proper Attire Aids In Job Search

This will not land you that job.

Even as the recession slows hiring, many industries continue to fill positions in anticipation of the coming recovery. With the unemployment rate at 9.4 percent in May and hiring managers seeing a plethora of talent from which to choose, job-seekers are realizing the importance of the first impression. Potential employers will consider only the best, most professional candidates for the job, and the candidate’s wardrobe is key to landing the position.

During the tech boom in the early 2000s, young talent flooded the job market, demanding individuality. Companies were forced to adapt to less traditional styles of workplace dress and in some cases, abandon dress codes all together in order to retain the talent they needed.

While tattoos, piercings and other forms of body art are typically accepted in the workplace now, hiring managers can be pickier as a growing talent pool competes for fewer jobs.

A younger generation brought on the wave of dress code alternatives. However, during this recession, older workers have seen considerable job gains, whether through postponing or coming out of retirement, and many may feel work is no place for casual wear. We may see the workplace standard swing back to ultra-professional.

In any event, it is always a good idea to dress professionally for an interview. Even despite employers embracing and promoting diversity in all its forms, during an interview, you do not want to stand out because of ripped jeans or skin-tight clothing.

Moreover, there are definitely certain industries where more conservative standards of appearance persist. We may never see tattoos on bankers, lawyers, accountants or the clergy. However, areas such as advertising, marketing, sales and technology are more inclined to be ahead of the curve and more accepting of new fashion and lifestyle trends.

While a growing number of companies may be abandoning traditional dress codes, many job seekers donning body art say they are not quite feeling the love. A Vault.com survey found that 76 percent and 81 percent of respondents respectively say visible tattoos and piercings other than in the ears are unprofessional. Another 42 percent of managers said their opinion would be lowered by a person’s visible body art.

Most tattoos are hidden, but some are prominently displayed on people’s hands, lower arms and necks. Body piercings can be anywhere. As a job seeker, you have to judge whether the employer you are interviewing with is going to be accepting of your body art. If that is not the case, and that is where you really want to work, then you will have to make an effort to conceal your tattoos and take out your piercings.

The best way to determine if body art is acceptable is by asking someone at the company, preferably not the person you are to meet. However, if you know someone else at the company or if you have established rapport with another employee, you can ask that person.

Challenger offered some additional advice on issues that could come up for young job seekers steeped in the latest fashion and youth-oriented trends:

Tattoos: Show them off, unless they are offensive, in which case you should plan on concealing it in the interview and even after getting the job. The other time you would want to conceal your tattoos is if you know that a certain employer would frown upon such decorations.

Piercings: Beware! With increased security at many corporate offices, too much bling could set off metal detectors. You do not want to be late to the interview because you were forced to remove 12 body piercings at the security desk. In addition to the security issue, too many piercings might be a distraction for the interviewer and could hurt your chances. Also, it would be prudent to remove tongue and lip piercings, as these often make it difficult for others to understand what you are saying.

Baggy Clothing: Avoid blue jeans, unless it is how everyone else in the office dresses. It is possible to look presentable in loose-fitting khakis and a button-down shirt. For the interview, refrain from wearing pants that ride below the waistline (often showing off one’s undergarments or bare body).

Wild hair: Streaks of blue, green or fire-engine red will not scare off most hiring authorities, but a Mohawk or hairdo resembling a bird’s nest might.

Cell phones: Cell phones have no place in the job interview. They should be turned off and stashed away in a bag or briefcase. Imagine being in the middle of answering an interview question and your personalized ring tone featuring the latest hip-hop anthem interrupts. Even on vibrate, a cell phone going off can be a major distraction in the interview.

Portable Music Players: Although it seems that everyone has them attached to their pocket, purse or hip, keep the iPods at home. If co-workers see you with ear buds in your ears all day long, they will assume you are not listening, and possibly not working very hard.

Dress For The Job You Want: The old adage is still true today. Upper management will be likelier to recognize you if you begin to dress and groom yourself professionally. They may see it as taking initiative or acting as a role model for the office.

The Job Search: HR Managers CAN Help!

One of the most important principles to remember when looking for a new job is that almost everyone you encounter during your job hunt can be a resource for getting you the right job. This includes friends, family and individuals employed in your area of interest or related industries. Yet one valuable resource is often overlooked, the human resource manager.

HR managers in many cases are excellent sources of information about the company at which you want to get a job, and can help you learn where your strengths and skills may best be applied within the company, especially if it is a complex organization with many divisions and departments.

In many cases it is the HR manager who knows what positions are available within the company and knows exactly what type of person and skills are required to succeed at that position. HR managers can tell you what qualifications and experience a particular position demands, as well as what the responsibilities of the position are. They can also tell you about the company’s culture, style and the type of people that work there.

It is the HR manager’s job in many cases to be the clearing house for job openings within a company. Often, they might be aware of positions available at the company’s other offices or can inform you of other organizations that are hiring.

In many companies, HR managers are often the first step in the interviewing process. This is your time to shine. The hiring manager has entrusted the HR manager with the responsibility of delivering the best candidates for a position. You must be one of the limited number of individuals selected for a second interview.

Keep in mind that the HR manager is a professional interviewer. They are often better interviewers than the person who is doing the actual hiring. Your answers need to be more concise and to the point. Let the HR manager take control of the interview and keep your conversation very professional and less casual than you might think. Although the HR manager may not ask as many technical questions about the specific job, it is her/his responsibility to evaluate your expertise and how you fit in with the company.

The advice they can give you at that first interview can point you in the right direction, help you focus on the right areas during your search, and give you ideas on how your experience and personal strengths can get you the job you are seeking. Some other helpful advice from HR managers includes:

Market yourself as a product. Always think of the interviewing process in business terms. Consider yourself a product and put yourself in the position of the interviewer. Why would a company buy me? The best way to do this is to highlight and communicate your accomplishments. If you do not express what you have already done, it will be difficult for anyone to visualize exactly what you have to offer. HR managers meet with many job candidates and they get discouraged with candidates who cannot relate relevant past contributions to what they can do for their organization.

Don’t do too much homework on the company before the first interview. This may be contrary to advice received in the past, but your responsibility in the first interview is to listen carefully and answer the questions as best you can. If you make it to the second or third interview, then obtain additional information on the company. Do not waste your time memorizing the annual report. Knowing basic information about the organization will make you more impressive for later interviewers.

Do not take the interview lightly. Many job seekers make the mistake of approaching a meeting with an HR manager as just a formality in the interview process. This is the best way to be eliminated from consideration. Although someone else usually makes the ultimate hiring decision, it is the HR manager’s job to eliminate those who do not fit the job profile.

Stay open to anything in the beginning stage of the interview. You can customize your interview strategy to the job for which you are interviewing. Let the interviewer tell you about the requirements of the job before you “play your hand.” Listen carefully and determine what skills and expertise the interviewer is really seeking and cite examples in your track record that match the company’s need.

For instance, if in sales/marketing, there are many positions and industries for which you may be particularly qualified. Even though you may be interviewing for a position that does not have the same areas of responsibilities you performed in your previous job, you can still highlight past accomplishments that target the HR manager’s requirements.

HR managers can be helpful in directing your job search. Take the interview with them very seriously. Beyond the fact that they may be the first individual you meet in the interviewing process, they can provide crucial information on the company and evaluate your skills and experience to direct you to the right job within the company.

Myths of the Job Hunt

Lately, there have been a growing number of stories about the double-dip recession in light of bleak economic reports on factory orders and consumer confidence.

For the job seeker all of this negative news begins to mount until it feels that the search for employment is entirely hopeless. Job seekers may have acquaintances telling them “XYZ company just laid off 500 people, I would not apply there.” Or, ‟You will never find a job in the telecommunications industry, it is the weakest sector in the economy.”

Pretty soon so many people are fostering these myths that they become easy to believe.

Job seeking is about the individual and being liked. Job seeking is not about how a specific industry or company is or is not performing. It does not even matter if the company is hiring. If you present the right attributes and are well liked by the interviewer, the company will create a position for you.

With the job market in its current state, there is undoubtedly a flood of myths being espoused by various parties. Following are perhaps some of the most commonly believed myths:

A company announcing job cuts or in bankruptcy should be avoided since they are not hiring.

Companies in turmoil are not only hiring but many are willing to pay a good salary to top-tier candidates.
Contrary to what most job seekers may believe, the company that is having difficulties, even announcing sizable layoffs, has a more urgent need for qualified people than many economically fit companies.
Not only do most other job seekers avoid these situations, thus reducing the competition, but such companies may be willing to pay a premium to those who can prove they have what it takes to revive the business.
Disregard the myth that adverse reports about a company mean that there are no job possibilities at that company. The fact is, someone has to run the business, and large-scale layoffs will frequently involve realignments and restructurings which can create new job opportunities.
What constitutes a company in turmoil?
Look for layoff announcements, firing of the president, multiple senior level job changes, closing of facilities, rapid decline of the stock price, cutting of dividends, and negative broadcast or printed stories.

Companies today are not interested in hiring candidates over 55 years old.

Older workers are highly regarded for several reasons. For one, employers see them as valuable assets in the struggling economy because their experience and skills make them better able to do the work of two and sometimes three younger, less seasoned workers.
More importantly, companies are looking ahead — not just to a recovery sometime this year or next, but 5 to 10 years down the road when a labor force depleted by retirements will not be able to fill the jobs our economy is projected to create. As a result, it will become more and more important for companies to find ways to keep older workers from retiring.
According to the Bureau of Labor, the projected number of jobs to be filled (167.8 million) will outnumber available workers (157.7 million) by 10 million over the next decade.

If you have spent your entire career in one industry, it will be impossible to find a position in another industry.

In reality, quite the opposite is true. Companies are most concerned with a candidate’s core skills and how they can be applied in their industry. An employer may, in fact, be seeking people from outside its industry in order to gain new perspective and new ways to approach old problems.
We encourage job seekers to consider many different industries because casting the widest net possible will greatly improve one’s chance of success. Job seekers should realize that they can take their base skills, whether it is in accounting, information technology, project management or marketing, and apply them to any number of industries. There is no reason a marketing manager for a manufacturer of brake parts cannot shift his or her skills to become a marketing manager for an agricultural company or a hospital, two areas which are hiring right now.

Unless a company is advertising open positions in the newspaper or on the Internet, then do not bother contacting anyone there about a job.

A very small percentage of jobs are actually found through newspaper or Internet ads because a very small percentage of the available jobs are listed there.
Job seekers should be focused on ways to create opportunities by actually getting out and meeting people and visiting prospective employers. It is a system that results in a lot more face-to-face rejection, but in the end a job is usually found much faster.
One technique that has proven successful is simply showing up at the office of a prospective employer, without an appointment, and waiting to see the manager you want to work for (do not go to the human resource department unless seeking a position in that area).
Even if the company is not officially hiring, several positive scenarios could result: there is an opening the company was going to fill internally, but will now consider you as a candidate; there are no openings, but the manager liked you so much that he or she will create a position for you’ or the manager has no jobs to offer, but knows other companies that are hiring and will recommend you for consideration.

Follow up calls are annoying; if the company is interested they will call you.

Follow up is essential in the job search process.
The manager with whom you interviewed has at least a dozen other responsibilities on his or her plate. A follow up call and/or letter should not only remind that person that you spoke but also what separates you from other candidates.
Follow up also demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm about working for that employer.
Such a small percentage of people actually follow up these days, that the candidates who do really distinguish themselves from the rest of the pool.

Because of the economy, it is likely that you will have to accept a salary lower than what you earned in your previous position.

If an employer goes to the expense, time and effort to find a qualified candidate, it wants that person to stay. A candidate may accept a salary lower than his or her previous salary, but chances are that individual will continue job searching after being hired and leave as soon as a better offer comes along.
That being said, in a competitive job market, the burden of proving that you are worth the higher salary is much greater. The face-to-face interview, even in the Internet Age, is still the key to job search success and the ability to garner a higher salary. Candidates must be able to provide supportable evidence of their achievements for other employers and explain how their experience will be valuable to the new situation.
In this economy, companies are looking for individuals who can save money and/or make more money. So, if candidates can point to specific ideas, plans, or actions they developed which contributed to significant cost-savings for their former employer, that is going to be well-received by any employer.

Job Seekers Not Entirely Gloomy: 1 In 4 Expect Success Within 3 Months!

The bleak economic forecast for 2009 was not enough to shatter the confidence of callers to a two-day service offering free job-search advice, more than one-fourth of whom thought they could find new employment within one to three months. Another 31 percent thought their job search might last four to seven months, which is on par with the current national average.

The survey was conducted among approximately 500 callers during the 23rd annual two-day free job search advice call-in conducted December 29 and 30 by global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Overall, the call-in received more than 1,200 during the two-day event.

Seventy-six percent of this year’s callers were unemployed, a sharp increase from a year earlier, when just over half (55 percent) of calls came from individuals who were out of work. The median length of unemployment among callers was about 6 months.

It has been a tough year in the job market. Through the first half of 2008, job losses were heavily concentrated in the financial sector. However, by July, the impact of the financial crisis, as well as high oil prices, was spreading to other sectors of the economy. As a result, job cuts in the second half of the year surged 57 percent.

Not surprisingly, the largest portion of calls came from people in the financial sector, which announced more than 260,000 job cuts in 2008. About 12 percent of jobless callers and 8 percent of employed callers came from this struggling sector. Other well-represented industries included retail, health care, government, technology and industrial goods manufacturing.

Despite a steady flow of discouraging economic news, 27 percent of job seekers who called Challenger for advice felt that they could find new employment within three months. About 31 percent felt the job search was more likely to last four to seven months. Approximately 12 percent thought the job search would last eight to 12 months. Less than 6 percent said the job search would last longer than a year.

We assumed callers would be a lot gloomier. Last year, before the downturn really gained momentum, 23 percent of callers guessed it would take over a year to find a new position. We did not see that level of pessimism this year. Instead, our counselors heard a lot of uncertainty, evidenced by the fact that 25 percent of callers said they were not sure how long it would take to find a job.

Some of this uncertainty is due to the fact that no one seems to know how far the economy will sink before it rebounds. There is also a lot of uncertainty about how effective the various bail-outs and stimulus plans will be, who they will help the most and when they will start producing positive results.

Overall, American’s confidence about business conditions and the job market continues to fall. The latest confidence reading from the Conference Board shows that 46 percent of consumers in December claimed business conditions are “bad,” up from 41 percent in November. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 42 percent from 33.7 percent the previous month.
However, the job market may not be as tight as most people assume. According to the latest Challenger Job Market Index, a quarterly survey of 3,000 job seekers, the median job search for those finding employment in the fourth quarter lasted just over three months. That was down from the third quarter, when job search times reached 4.4 months. Over the entire year, the median job search averaged 3.5 months, which is not far off from the historical average.

The fact is that even in bad times, companies still hire. There is constant churn in this economy and employers regularly need to replace workers who leave for other opportunities, retire or simply did not work out in the position. The key for a job seeker in this economy is to expose as many opportunities as possible through networking. Those who merely sit on the Internet all day, surfing job boards, are missing 80 percent of the job openings.

Job seekers can also increase their chances for success by casting a wider net and expanding their skill set to make themselves more marketable to different industries and occupations. However, our survey indicated a significant lack of willingness to take these steps,” said Challenger.

According to the survey, 65 percent of callers were unwilling to relocate for a new position and 58 percent were unwilling to go back to school.

Surviving The Job Search

With the recession looming and employers dropping tens of thousands of jobs from their payrolls, job seekers in today’s corporate world face stiffer employment standards and tougher hiring techniques. Companies of all sizes now are single-minded about productivity and bottom line performance.

Competition for jobs will increase as management seeks and hires only those persons who appear to have the most potential for helping to boost the company’s profits. Although it may sound cold blooded, employees currently on the payroll in many organizations will stay only as long as they produce.

Because of increased competition and higher hiring standards, it has become more important than ever for a job applicant to convince the interviewer that he or she is the best person they can find for the specific job. Modesty has no place in a competitive employment interview. Even though you may be the strong silent type, you have to learn to explain how wonderful you are without sounding like a braggart.

Following are some tried and true tips for coming out on top in today’s rigorous job market:

• Prepare a detailed resume, but do not give it to anyone unless asked. It is far better to “talk” your capabilities and accomplishments to a prospective employer.
• Finding a job has nothing to do with possession of a vast array of “contacts.” You do not need to know someone or have an introduction to talk to a potential employer.
• Compile a list of your achievements, large and small, then select the most relevant ones to emphasize in the interview.
• Make your conversation “results and accomplishments” oriented, rather than general and fuzzy.
• Relax in the interview and be yourself, not who you think the world wants you to be. Playing a role usually backfires.
• Getting a job is a matter of numbers. If you go on 50 interviews, you have a better chance of landing a good job than if you only go on two or three.
• Practice job interviewing by going out and doing it rather than rehearsing in front of a mirror. You can learn best in the interviewing situation, and also by the rejection process that goes with it.
• Remember you are selling a product — yourself — so you need to be somewhat presumptuous. Use the telephone to contact employers and set up interviews. Most letters go in the “round file.”
• Consider job hunting a full-time job. If you are unemployed, you should put in eight- to 10-hour days looking for work, at least five days a week.
• Do not wait for someone to call you with a job offer. Make follow-up calls. Ask for the “order.”
• Remember, the employer is always right. Interviewers are buying something their companies want, so do not try to sell them something else. Hiring managers can expect at least six equivalently qualified persons for every job that is open.
• You are more likely to win a new job because the new employer likes you, rather than because he or she thinks you are competent.
• Do not waste valuable time asking about vacations, holidays or benefits. You are not interviewing the company. They are interviewing you, and will provide information on compensation later in the interviewing process.
• Know how to get to the interview. If you are late for the appointment, even for a good reason, it may be held against you. Do not risk it.
• Do not criticize your former employers, no matter what you think of them. No one wants to hire a complainer.
• Smile. Simple advice, but happy people get jobs because employers want pleasant people working for them.

Equally important to making the best impression on a prospective employer, the interview should provide you with information and insights on whether the job is a good fit.

Among the key points to consider are:

Do you like the people? — This is the single most important criterion. The people should be those with whom you would enjoy working, and the work environment one that you feel confident of fitting into.

Can you do the job? — If you can do the job routinely and automatically, reject it no matter what the salary. By taking something too easy, you are not advancing yourself or working up to your potential. You will not be offered a job that is far beyond your capabilities.

Do you like the position? — Accepting a job that you may not like in hopes of working into something better later on is risky, because you will not perform your best at something you do not like. The position should be challenging and interesting, offer potential for advancement and be something you want to work at for several years.

Is the entire package satisfactory, including salary and all benefits? — If the offer does not meet your needs, negotiate. Once an employer chooses you, the other candidates pale in comparison. If accepting a lower salary or reduced benefits seems likely to become a source of discontent, it will be reflected in your job performance and attitude toward others in the company.

If it is necessary to relocate, will you fit into the new community? — Often considered are the size of the community, its location and the level of sophistication. You and your spouse’s attitude toward the community is critical. If you are open-minded and have realistic expectations, you probably can find happiness most anywhere. If you harbor strong preconceptions about geographical identities, i.e., big city versus small town, or one region’s extreme merits or faults, a relocation is more difficult. Living near extended family is essential for many people.

Does business travel pose a problem? — You need to determine if travel, and how much travel, you and your family can live with. A one- or two-day trip every other month is one thing; a six-month assignment in a foreign country is entirely another. You need to have an up-front understanding about business travel with your spouse and children. If frequent or extended periods of travel are involved, the position may or may not be worth the possible sacrifices in your particular circumstance.