Finding a Job - Landing Your Ideal Position

Finding a job is really only the beginning of a long journey - a journey that will often take you to unknown depths because after you successfully find the job, you must successfully navigate within it. However, as the journey is long, and it is something that almost everyone has to do, there are some general hints that may be useful to people as they find their job so that this part of your work life is made a little bit simpler. You should also read related articles on Preparing and Doing Well in a Job Interview, Preparing Your Resume, and Preparing Your Cover Letter.

Try unsolicited job searching. In unsolicited job searching, you search for jobs that are not advertised and where people are not explicitly hiring someone.   You must engage in the same formalities such as researching the company thoroughly, using a specific person's name in your cover letter, writing a very specific cover letter tailored to the interests and needs of the company, and including a resume in the cover letter, as well as following up with a phone call. The advantages of unsolicited job searching are obvious: you will not be competing with as many, or perhaps with any, other qualified applicants.  However, the disadvantage is that more often than not, companies may not have a slot open or available for you, and you may just be wasting a lot of your time. However, it is definitely worth pursuing unsolicited job searching because if there is an opening, then you will have a much better chance of obtaining that position.

Consider volunteering. Consider volunteering in the organization or field in which you are interested. You may also wanted to see the related article on Hints on Volunteer on this site. Often, people hire others because they are familiar with their skills and have seen how capable they are.  Volunteering allows this opportunity to occur. In fact, volunteers may be the first in the organization to know that there is an opening and may speak directly to management to ask them if they would consider them for the position. Alternately, after volunteering in the organization for a while and you find that you like how they operate, you may ask management or other people in human resources to let you know when there is an opening, or whether they would consider creating an opening for you. The other advantage of volunteering even if you don't directly get a job from the organization where you are volunteering is to increase or expand your knowledge in a certain area or to get reference letters later on. Of course, try not to volunteer just for that purpose - you should also believe in the mission of the organization - but many people get their jobs by volunteering.

Engage in conventional job searching strategies. Generally, you should also try to engage in conventional job searching strategies by looking at and at newspapers and at the websites of organizations. It's quite possible to land a job this way too, but you may have more competition. Hopefully, they have not set you up and posted the job just for the sake of posting while they have already hired someone else. However, that is quite possible that they have done that. Hopefully, you will also have an equal chance and not have less of a chance, than other applicants because you are an outsider or are prone to 

Work your way up. Don't expect to land the best job in the world in your first job application, or maybe even after your fifth job. It takes time, and probably a bit of luck too. Work your way up. Try to get a smaller job, or a job where you are perhaps slightly overqualified. From that job, you can eventually work your way up to your dream job. The reference letters and the experience you gain from each job will make you that much more attractive to your next job. Of course, try not to hop to different jobs too often. Maybe every two or three years or so you can change jobs, but don't change too often because it may signify a lack of loyalty to your potential employer in the future. There are generally two strategies when working your way up - one is to work yourself up internally, and the other is to go to different organizations. In both strategies, it may be worth doing different work to broaden your experiences so that management sees you as an attractive promotion target. For more information on getting promoted, see the article on Getting Promoted.

Consider working part-time. Consider finding a part-time or a temporary position if you are unable to find a full-time position. While you are working part-time or full-time, you can continue your search for a full-time job. The advantage of the part-time job is, of course, you can see whether you enjoy the field. The other advantage, of course, is to allow you to make some money and sustain yourself while you are searching for something that will give you a higher quality of life. Similarly, if you are still in school and are studying, you may want to spend a small amount of your time doing work in a part-time job that you would like to improve your skills and experiences, or perhaps work a little bit during the summer.

Consider additional training. Perhaps what you need is additional training. It is often worth investing several thousand dollars, or perhaps even more, to upgrade or to expand your current knowledge and set of skills. If the government lets you borrow money for the program, you may want to consider it if you think that you can pay off your debt in the time specified after graduating. Additional training may also take some time away from your normal routines, but it may make you a much more attractive employee to hire in the future. Try not to choose a field that is too hot and where everyone else is going into to get additional training because there just may not be enough spots for you to find a job after you graduate. In addition, besides specific training in a particular field, there may also be programs that help you find jobs in general. You may want to consider those programs because those may just be the type of program that you need. You may be able to find those programs at your local library, at the government website, or in your local newspaper. Alternately, you may want to speak directly to a career counsellor and ask them to help you in your job search and to see if you are doing certain things right. You may need to pay these individuals but it may be worth paying them a few hours of their time to get your career straightened out.

Don't give up. No matter what you do, don't give up. There really are tons of jobs out there. You are offering your skills to others, and they should be happy that they will get you even if they do have to pay a fee for it because you are worth it. Of course, the reality is always that there may not be enough money to hire everyone or for someone to hire the help that they need because of a lack of funds, but you should always keep searching and keep your optimism up. Besides, the job that you think that you might like may not turn out to be that good anyways. So, don't despair, and keep trying. The day you give up trying is the day that you have failed.

Finding a job can certainly be a frustrating time. However, hopefully you will learn a lot about yourself and gain some new skills in the process of finding a job that will suit you. Enjoy yourself.

In summary, to find a job,

A. Try unsolicited job searching.

B. Consider volunteering.

C. Engage in conventional job searching strategies.

D. Work your way up.

E. Consider working part-time.

F. Consider additional training.

G. Don't give up.

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