Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Find a Job

(This article is part of a book called How to Find a Job, which now is available as an ebook on Kindle, nook, and Smashwords. All of the chapters have been revised, many have been expanded, and the book contains three bonus chapters (including Negotiating) that are not available on this blog.)

Back in April of 2008, I left my job as a technical writer to take a job as a Communications Specialist. Ten months later, I was let go during a national company-wide 3% layoff.

As of 2011, in a strange twist of fate, I am now back at the company that laid me off, this time as a technical writer.

The primary question I always had when a member of one of my various networking groups got hired was always, “How did they do it?”

The thing of it is, I kind of want to echo something one of my networking group leaders said many months ago in one of our meetings: “If there was a book that told you how to get a job, and it always worked, someone would have already written it, and everyone would have read it.”

I want to add to that thought, and say:

Try Everything

To draw from my own story:

1. By the time I finally got hired at my old company again, I sent out over 250 resumes. I got some interviews. So send out resumes.

2. I spent two semesters teaching Basic Movie-Making to high school students. I had an amazing time, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I got that position when a friend of mine happened to be talking to the director of a local school, who was wondering aloud where to find someone to teach a movie-making class. My friend just happened to have a DVD of one of my movies. He loaned it to the director of the school and a few days later I got an email about the job. So make sure to network.

And more importantly, consider opportunities outside your comfort zone.

3. I spent three months as a freelance journalist and blogger when a local magazine found my work through LinkedIn. I got my most recent job when the company found me through LinkedIn and asked me if I’d be interested in going back to the same company that had let me go two years ago.

So get on LinkedIn, if you aren’t there already, and get your profile updated. Someone out there might just be searching for you.

In the end, I spent almost 2 ½ years unemployed or under-employed. I taught high school students, wrote a lot of cool articles, and wrote some well-reviewed e-books that you can get on the Kindle or nook. And I started giving 10% of my profits to Ethiopia Reads.

And in the end, I learned that there really is only one way to find a job:

Try Everything

If you’re looking for a job now, the very best of luck to you. Don’t give up. And Try Everything.

1 comment:

  1. Great post.

    Try everything. True, and good advice meant to open yourself to exploring. It is key to then let go of the rest, and start to focus when you find one that starts to catch.

    That doesn't mean your first FOCUS has to be the correct, permanent one.