“I can’t find a job “, are words that are so common these days, that people do not even seem startled anymore when they hear it. It is a very sad state of our economy and many of my clients are in this position. Well educated, gifted young people who are articulate and skilled, and can barely meet their individual needs without the assistance of their parents. What do do?
First of all, I tell my clients that they should structure their day as if they were at work. Wake up early, go to the gym, shower, get dressed in business casual clothes and get to work! Work? What kind of work?
By getting up early and heading to the gym, there is an opportunity to meet other people who are working and who possibly could be good network connections. Always keep business cards at hand, you never know who you might run into. If you don’t belong to a gym, get out and walk, run, or join a group of basketball players, tennis players, ride a bicycle. The key is to talk to people and let them know you are looking for a job in a particular field. Stop in for a coffee at your local Starbucks or neighborhood hangout. Generally if you go to the same place at the same time each day, you will likely meet the same people and feel more at ease starting up a conversation.
Structure your morning to spend time at the computer looking for jobs and keep that time sacred. Perhaps two to three hours in the morning will allow you to answer jobs sites and post resumes .
Don’t get bogged down by only looking online for work. Be creative. Block out time to cold call if necessary and walk into places and leave your name and card with the receptionist to give to the appropriate person at places you might want to work. Be friendly, and ask if it is ok to follow up in a week. Keep a list of the places you have left a card at and stop by again. Remember, face to face is the best way to land a job. Keep calling your network and expand your network.
Lunchtime? Get out again to a location in a business area. Keep your business cards at hand and go the same time each day. Chances are you will likely meet the same people at least once a week. You might have an opportunity to start up a conversation with someone and make your pitch. Plan your afternoon and evening into segments- attend seminars and webinars in your field. Ask a local place if you can make a presentation.
If you cannot find a job in your field, take any job and get into the workforce. You need to feel and be productive and be around people and get a paycheck no matter how slim. If you have lost a job and you were at a higher level, and you feel that you would never take an entry level position, think again. You might be lucky enough to work your way up in another company. Or you might make contacts that will lead you in other directions while at your job.
I have a client who was a very successful marketing pro in the political arena. When the money dried up and people were doing these jobs as interns with no pay, she found herself without a job. Today a friend who owns a clothing boutique offered her a part time position helping out at the store for minimum wage. She took the position with a positive attitude, uses the remaining time to look for something closer to her marketing field, but is also being creative and using her skills to market ideas for her employer. Her employer just gave her a project with a higher compensation attached and will likely have more work for her. She has also referred her to other friends.
Keep a positive outlook, talk to everyone you know, volunteer where your passions are- there could be an opportunity you never thought about right around the corner.