Resume on point? Check!
Motivation for finding the right job? Check!
Laptop charged, mobile phone charged, ready to put in the hours for job hunting? Check! Check! Check!
Can’t find that ideal job you are looking for? Oh no, that shouldn’t be on your list, but unfortunately this does happen. Before you give up on your search though, have you questioned the following?
We all have our favourite and reliable method of job hunting. People are creatures of habit, and perhaps you have found success doing things one way and now you feel comfortable in following your old footsteps. After all, these are the steps you know best. But there is more than one approach to job seeking. With the amount of competition increasing, you need to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to searching for employment. You may even, dare we say it, step out of your comfort zone to do so. Here are some ways to do this:
Have you heard the saying – ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Networking my friends, networking! This is a tool you cannot overlook and a skill you must adopt for years to come. It may be hard at the start, especially if you are shy or introverted, but it is a skill that can assist you in many areas of life, not simply in your career. The more you practice and put yourself out there, the easier it will become. At the end of the day, people don’t bite. Just be your authentic self, be honest with what you are looking for and you’ll see that people (most people anyway) actually want to help. To start off and make things easier, network with your old boss/mentor, teachers, and friends. They may know of opportunities or give you some extra good advice.
If you know the industry you wish to work for, go and check the various companies in it and see what job postings they have directly on their website. Even a phone call to their HR department to have a casual, unofficial conversation about any upcoming roles yet to be advertised can give you that edge over others.
You are not applying to enough jobs! You may be limiting yourself by not applying to sufficient opportunities. You may be cutting yourself short, believing you are not qualified for a certain job advertised, or reading too much into the job duties misinterpreting the role. One way to be clear about the duties and exactly who the employer is looking for, is to make a phone call. Discuss the role with the recruiter, chat about your skills set and what you can offer, and see if this is a good opportunity for you. You may in fact be surprised and have opened an extra door for yourself.
For example, if you are looking for a full-time role, but the perfect job is advertised as part-time, you can call and find out 1. What are the chances of the position becoming full-time and 2. Is there another role similar that is full-time, which would match your skill set and goals?
Have you perhaps been too general about what type of role you are looking for and with that, you cannot find the job? For example, you know you want a sales position, but without defining what type of sales, which industry in sales, you may be lost and be open to too many general options. Or perhaps the opposite is true for you. You have narrowed down your ideal job to such an unrealistic position it does not exist. For example: a Sales position in the Tourism Industry, working for an international company from the comfort of your own home. As lovely as that job sounds, possibly you may need to broaden your search and relax your expectations. The idea of working remotely may be unrealistic for an international tourism company but perhaps you may find it within a local organisation and that just might be ok too.
Be realistic with the work you are searching for and consider your negotiable
and non-negotiable duties. We don’t want you to give up on your dreams,
but not every dream can come true at once,
and when it comes to careers,
most dreams take steps and roundabouts to get there.
So how do you define what the ideal role is whilst being realistic; focused enough to pinpoint the right position, but not so limited that it simply does not exist? By taking the time to really consider your career goals. Write them all down, and then divide them into negotiable and nonnegotiable piles. The nonnegotiable list should narrow things down, the negotiable list should allow for flexibility in the roles you consider.
Put in different keywords in your job search. Make it broad, make it narrow, mix and match the search to see all the options that are out there. Don’t focus on one type of role, expand and play around with the words you use to find the position. You don’t know what key words the perfect job has been advertised under. It may just end up being a hidden gem.
It is important to be open minded when looking for work and identifying suitable roles for oneself. Sure, it may not be an ideal situation for you, it may even feel like you are taking a step backwards or not moving forwards fast enough. No experience is a waste, there is always something to gain, learn and build from. Sometimes in life, we have roadblocks or windy paths that lead us ultimately to our final destination. The more open minded you are and the more willing you are to new experiences, the better the chances are of gaining a job (even if it is a “for now” role). No one is saying you should stop searching for your ideal position. As long as you are not complacent, you keep your goals in sight and continue to search for that perfect fit, it won’t hurt you to have a place that you can at least use as a step for the various purposes you may require in the short term, such as funds, experience, networking and so forth.
Now that you have some additional views to consider, write a list of keywords for job searches, the various job search methods you wish to take, and negotiable and nonnegotiable roles you can identify for yourself. You may open a few extra doors you never knew were there.
My Career Angels