Recession Career Guide: How to Move Up and On at Work

Caring for your career is more important than ever. Whether you want to move up, make more money, or change everything, here's how to know what you're worth, who's worth knowing, and what's next.

By Hilary Sterne & Cathy Gandel from Reader's Digest | April 2009

Moving Up
Always Know Who’s Hiring
Whether you’re looking or not, it pays&mdashliterally&mdashto keep current on who’s hiring and for what. These niche job sites let you focus on your field and plot your next move on your own terms.

Creative and Tech

  • Anyone in these fields should bookmark the home page of this useful, tightly focused site.
  • This site boasts more than 55,000 tech jobs, which can be easily retrieved and filtered.

Since the market at the $100K-plus level is highly competitive and positions are often snagged through connections, these hybrid sites emphasize networking, research tools, and job skills as well as listings.

  • Billed as the leading online platform for the $100K-plus job market, this well-regarded site posts about 50,000 screened listings on its main board; its specialized channels include finance, HR, law, marketing, and sales. Free access is limited. For more than a peek, you’ll pay $30 a month, $180 for 12 months.
  • Membership at this all-business, award-winning site for CEOs, GMs, SVPs, and other big-wig acronyms is free. Network, browse advice pages, and search several industries, specialties, and locations for screened listings, or “sweep” to find more unscreened ones.
  • One-stop shopping for MBAs and their ilk, whether they’re right out of college or well seasoned. This site has become a comprehensive hybrid model with networking, salary data, and more, both free and through paid subscription.


  • A network for those in the accounting, banking, insurance, mortgage, and finance sectors.
  • Asset management and commodities are just two of the sectors represented on this comprehensive network of career sites.


  • Log onto this government-sponsored clearinghouse to browse more than 30,000 federal job postings.

Health Care

  • Lots of extra content makes this more than merely a job bank for professionals in the pharmaceutical, bio-tech, and other health-related industries.
  • Medical professionals can search jobs and network here.


  • Browse positions everywhere from Wendy’s to the Waldorf, both management and nonexempt.


  • Timecard punchers can trawl by zip code for hourly jobs to find more than 100,000 gigs.
  • Jobs posted here from employers like AT&T and UPS are targeted at entry- and mid-level hourly workers.


  • A nicely designed directory of volunteer, nonprofit, and internship opportunities put together by international not-for-profit Action Without Borders.


  • Offers a hometown focus on 36 areas nationwide.


  • On this basic job board, you can pull up listings from retailers, banks, and hotels, entry level to VP.


  • Launched as a niche job board for Spanish/English speakers, this site has grown into a clearinghouse for candidates from around the world.
  • Jobs in dozens of categories are submitted by employers who value the skill sets of those who’ve served their country.

Consider a Change of Scenery

The idea of working abroad used to be outside the comfort zone of Americans. But by the fall of 2008, job-seeking refugees from the worlds of law and finance were already sending their résumés to foreign postings in increasing numbers. And younger job hunters were looking abroad as well.

Wherever you’re headed, the Internet is the place to start your search. and have country-specific, sometimes city-specific, job listings. and give ranges for specific jobs in any given country as well as charts detailing the cost of living.

  • Check out the encyclopedic government website Americans Living and Traveling Abroad and Beyond the challenges of culture shock and language, you must deal with the roller-coaster dollar as it rises and falls against other currencies. And unlike many other expats, Americans must file a U.S. tax return, even if they pay taxes in their host country.
  • If you can, open an account in a bank that has branches in both the United States and the country where you’ll be living. Money transfers will go more smoothly, you can call the U.S. offices for help with problems, and you’ll have a local branch where you can do business.
  • Know that the quality of medical care varies wildly. As soon as you get settled, make it a priority to get doctor and hospital recommendations from other expats or the U.S. embassy. You don’t want to start searching for care when you have a midnight emergency.
  • Link up with a currency exchange specialist so you can purchase and deposit large amounts of currency when the rate favors you.
  • Scan all your important papers—passport, visa, etc.-and upload the images to a flash drive that you store in a safe place.
  • Ask a friend or relative to be your liaison back in the States for any problems that may arise.
  • Subscribe to a VoIP service like Skype. International calls via the computer are much cheaper.
  • Expect culture shock. It can take up to two years to start feeling comfortable.

–Doug Colligan

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