It is a tough time (economy-wise) for those of you just starting out in the emergency management field but there are plenty of positions out there - If you are looking for work, I encourage you to keep trying and not to get frustrated. Here are some tips for those of you in the hunt.
First, if you don’t have experience, you need to get some. I would look for volunteer opportunities with your local emergency management agency, fire department, LEPC, ARC, or other VOAD organizations. Volunteering is one sure fire way to get some real life on-the-ground experience.
Second, you need to find the job opportunities. You need to go hunt. You can search the job boards at places like All-Hands.net and IAEM.com to see if you can find a ground floor opportunity. There are mail lists like the EM Jobs list on Yahoo! Often, there are lower level positions or internships available where you can get on-the-job experience.
Third, get connected. It is a Web 2.0 world and you better get with it. Try networking with other emergency mangers by participating in associations and networking groups. My favorites include the Emergency Management List and the list run by IAEM. See this page for more lists. Our EM Community web site at All-Hands.Net includes links to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - all great ways to network.
Finally, consider emergency management consulting. There are some ground floor opportunities for junior positions where you can learn the ropes and get good experience. All Hands Consulting manages a database of available personnel with either (or both) experience and education in the emergency management, homeland security and continuity of operations fields. We often have opportunities for entry level oppositions and if we hear of job opportunities we share these with the team.
So, get busy, get connected, and stay in touch!