Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.

Vilfredo Pareto

What to Do When You Need a New Job Fast


It may happen to you at some point in your career. There’s a surprising round of layoffs, or a merger leaves you on the outs, or you just got fired. Perhaps you are in a bad work situation and just feel you need to get away from it all.

You need a new job – fast!

In times when you must move quickly, be deliberate and thoughtful in your actions. We’re going to have some fun with the Pareto principle to help us along. (Pareto purists–please don’t write me!)

Developed by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in the early 20th century, Pareto’s principle says that 80 percent of the effects of something come from 20 percent of the causes. Let’s use this idea to help you get a new job fast.

Resume, Network, Interview

Eighty percent of the way to a new job is going to rely on 20 percent of your actions. Or think of it this way: you absolutely MUST have a good resume, a strong network, and do well in the interview to get a job fast. So make sure you have each one locked down. Other factors may include references, experience, and referrals which can all seal the deal, but you need that first 20 percent.

You’re On Sale

We can use the Pareto principle to make another point. A common rule of thumb in business is that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers. Picture yourself as a product and your network as a group of customers. Twenty percent of your contacts are your big fans, the most vocal fans, and the most aggressive fans. Identify those people and reach out to them often.

Time Management Means Success

Before we put the Pareto principle away for a while, how about we use it to look at time management? If you must continue to work at your current job while looking for a new one, you will have little time to waste. Get organized! Spending time on the right 20 percent is a must. Get a calendar and write down everything. Then highlight and do the things that are most important first.

Lastly, don’t panic

When you panic you cannot think clearly and the results will fall short. How not to panic? Celebrate small milestones along the way. Maybe making a new contact that will eventually lead to a new job. As long as you maintain the momentum, your efforts will eventually pay off.

New American SmallJason Veduccio is the author of The New American Dreamer: How to Land That Ideal Job in a Nightmare Economy. Click to buy.