When I was 12, my best friend and I went to a small seafood restaurant, close to the school. We would get drinks and talk for a while. Over time, we became friends with the owner, and he decided that he needed someone to clean the parking lot. Because of child labor laws, he could not hire us full time, but he made us an offer of free drinks, and food if we came by after school for one hour, and cleaned the lot and pulled weeds in the shrubbery. We accepted and ever since then I have not been without work for more than a couple of weeks.
Thirty years later, I have had a number of jobs, I’ve only been fired twice, and not one of the jobs I’ve had came from a newspaper, or internet jobsite. In every city, there are thousands of jobs waiting for someone to fill them, but since they never advertise in the paper, many people never see them. If you have been out of work for a few months, you’ve exhausted the want ads and internet with no result, and you’re at the end of your rope, there is still hope, but it will take a little work.
For the next few blogs I will go over some of the steps that I use in a job search that hasn’t failed me yet. I hope that you will have the same results.
The first of these steps happens before you even walk out the door. Every journey to success begins with the first steps, skip these and you will live life in circles, getting nowhere. Before you go out on the road, you will need a map or plan for your job search.
Here are a few things you will need for your plan.
You will first need to know your skills. You need to know this for two reasons. One, so that you will have a good idea where to focus your search. Two, you will have something to offer possible employers. Skills can include, creativity, detail oriented, anything that might help you accomplish the job you are applying for. You might also be able to draw from skills learned in past jobs.
You will need to determine how far you are willing to commute. This is especially important if you don’t have a car. If you know how far you are willing to go, you can concentrate your efforts to this area.
Determine your financial needs. If you have a mortgage and three kids, Burger Buddy might not be a good choice.
I set an application limit for each day. Looking for a job can be stressful. You have to have a rest, or a break, somewhere in your day. You can take one whenever you want, as long as you meet your application limit. I used to fill out five applications a day and all of them before noon. Then I could enjoy the rest of the day, and wait for phone calls.
Make sure your resume is up to date. Even if the companies you apply to don’t take them, it helps you to fill out an application much faster.
Don’t limit yourself to just one type of job on your search. The specific job you want may not be available at the time. The goal is to keep you from becoming homeless, or going on welfare when you can make working. Besides, once you have money coming in, you can still keep looking for that perfect job, and think of all the new skills your getting.
Challenge: Open a job file on your computer with your updated resume for quick reference.
Happy job hunting. Next blog will deal with the actual search.