KEEPING YOUR JOBS.
WHO obtains the best job? Is it always the most qualified applicant? “No,” says Brian, an employment consultant. “The job often goes to the most effective job seeker.” What can you do to become a more effective job seeker? Let us consider five suggestions.
If you have lost a good job or have been unemployed for some time, it is easy to become downhearted. “When I first lost my job, I was optimistic about finding another one,” says Katharina, a dressmaker in Germany. “But as the months dragged on and I was unable to find work, I became depressed. Eventually, I even found it hard to talk about the subject with my friends.”
How can you counteract feelings of hopelessness? “It is crucial that you establish your own ‘workday’ schedule so that you start your day knowing what is to be done,” suggests the book Get a Job in 30 Days or Less. The authors recommend that you “set daily goals and record what you have done.” In addition, they say that “each day must start with your getting dressed for work.” Why? “Being dressed properly will give you added confidence even when talking on the telephone.”
Yes, you must make it your job to find a job, no matter how long it takes. Katharina, mentioned earlier, adopted this businesslike approach. She says: “I obtained the addresses and phone numbers of prospective employers from the employment office. I responded to newspaper ads. I studied the phone book and made lists of companies that might have jobs that were not yet advertised, and then I contacted them. I also compiled a résumé and sent it to these companies.” After such systematic searching, Katharina found a suitable job.
Access the Hidden Job Market
The fisherman with the largest net is the one most likely to catch fish. So, too, your knowing how to increase the size of your “net” will improve your chances of landing a job. If you are looking for work only by responding to newspaper or Internet advertisements, the majority of available jobs may be slipping past your net. A good number of jobs are never advertised. How can you gain access to this hidden job market?
In addition to responding to advertisements, like Katharina you must set aside time each week to call on businesses that you think may have jobs you can do. Do not wait for them to advertise positions. If a manager says that he has no work, ask him if he knows where else you might look and specifically to whom you should speak. If he offers a suggestion, make an appointment with that company, stating the name of the person who referred you.
* Prepare well for interviews
* Produce an effective résumé
* Be adaptable
* Access the hidden job market
* Be organized
Tony, mentioned in the preceding article, found a job this way. “I took the initiative to contact companies even though they were not advertising,” he explains. “One company said that there were no vacancies at present but that I should try again in three months. I did, and I obtained a job.”
Primrose, a single mother in South Africa, did something similar. “While I was attending a first-aid course,” she says, “I noticed a new building being constructed across the road and discovered that it was going to be a nursing home for the elderly. I repeatedly tried to make an appointment with the superintendent of the facility. He finally told me that there were currently no jobs available. However, I kept returning to see if I could work there, even as a volunteer. Eventually, I was employed on a temporary basis. I applied myself to whatever tasks I was given. As a result, I gained additional qualifications and obtained a permanent job at the facility.”
You can also ask your friends, family, and other associates to help you access the hidden job market. This is how Jacobus, a safety officer in South Africa, found a job. He says: “When the company I worked for went out of business, I let friends and family know that I was looking for work. One day a friend of mine overheard a conversation while in line at a supermarket. One woman was asking another if she knew of anyone looking for work. My friend interrupted and told the woman about me. An appointment was arranged, and I got the job.”
To increase your chances of finding work, you must be adaptable. Jaime, mentioned in the preceding article, observes: “It is unlikely that you will find a job that has everything you hope for. You need to learn to be content with employment that is less than ideal.”
Being adaptable may mean overcoming prejudice against certain types of work. Consider Ericka, who lives in Mexico. Trained as an executive secretary, she was initially unable to find the kind of work she preferred. “I learned to accept any suitable work,” she says. “For a while I worked as a sales assistant. I also sold tacos on the street and cleaned houses. Eventually, I was able to find a job in my field of expertise.”
When Mary, mentioned in the preceding article, lost her job as a clerk, she too saw the need to be adaptable. She explains: “I wasn’t adamant about finding the same type of work I had been doing. I followed up each job opportunity that came along, even if it involved what some might consider menial work. As a result, I was able to find work to support my two children.”
Produce an Effective Résumé
For those applying for executive positions, compiling and distributing a professional résumé is a must.* But no matter what job you seek, a well-prepared résumé can be a great asset. “A résumé tells potential employers not only who you are but also what you have accomplished and why they need you,” says Nigel, an employment consultant in Australia.
How do you compile a résumé? Provide your full name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. State your objective. List the education you have received, highlighting any training and skills that relate to the job you are seeking. Provide details of previous work experience. Include not only what you did but also examples of the goals you reached and the benefits you brought to your previous employers. Also highlight aspects of your previous employment that qualify you for the job you are currently seeking. Include personal information that describes your qualities, interests, and hobbies. Because companies’ needs differ, you may have to adjust your résumé for each application.
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