Navigating Big City Competitive Job Markets

While the job market is still somewhat tough all throughout the United States, it is particularly tough in certain cities, such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. These cities have particularly competitive job markets for many reasons. For one thing, they are all densely populated, and thus have a lot of people competing for jobs at all income levels. They also have a lot of colleges, so college students and graduates are competing with seasoned workers.

Despite these hurdles, it is still possible to set oneself apart from other candidates, even in the toughest job markets in the country.

The Importance of Networking

Networking can determine whether or not a person will get a job. Some jobs aren’t advertised, or not advertised through the normal channels (, the classifieds, etc.). These positions are filled through networking because job creators look for candidates already familiar with who they are, what their business is, and who their colleagues and customers are.

Networking has become essential because high-paying jobs are a scarce resource in bigger cities. has noted that networking is becoming more essential to modern business. The site references Rita B. Allan, the president of management consulting firm Rita B. Allan Associates who says, “It’s not about who you know but who knows you.” She recommends building an online network, as well as making face-to-face connections.

The Internet has made it easier to network, especially on social networking sites that promote business, such as and It can’t all happen online, which is why it’s essential to attend corporate events and trade shows. Big cities, particularly Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia have events all the time. So, attend an event relative to the business you’re hoping to be in, and make as many connections as possible.

Learning New Technology for Competitive Purposes

The New York Times published a piece titled “How to Get a Job,” and states that finding a job takes skill, knowledge, and capability. Sometimes, it’s who you know, but more often it’s what you know and what you can do with what you know that lands you a career. “It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore about what you know; all it cares ‘is what you can do with what you know.’”

Your technical skills can determine whether or not you get a job. Anyone going into business should know how to present information on many different technical platforms. People in business are going to be constantly coping with new technological upgrades at work, which is going to be difficult for people who don’t have the requisite technical skills. If you want to secure a job in a major city, you should work hard to develop competitive technical skills.

Getting Ahead With an MBA

The Philadelphia Business Journal published the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Fifty Highest Paying Jobs, and the mass majority of high-paying careers require graduate-level education. Investing in an MBA is an investment in oneself. It will cause you to stand out, as an expert in your field. It’s invaluable in the world of business.

Gwynedd Mercy University, a school which offers Philadelphia MBA programs through accelerated online learning, advises that MBA programs “prepare you for the responsibilities of management and decision-making positions in dynamic business environments, while providing you with a competitive advantage.”

Build the Network, Learn the Skills, and Earn the MBA

People need certain skills in order to stand out in a crowded job market. Fortunately, there are clear measures that anyone can take in order to acquire those skills. The people who get good jobs in competitive cities do so for a reason, and following in their footsteps is all it takes.

Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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