As a person who graduated from university in the heat of the recession (2008), I can safely say I am very familiar with an unsteady job market and making the most out of any opportunity I have come across.
After years of working in a few different positions within in recruitment and staffing, I finally landed my golden opportunity. One might ask, how did you get there and why did it take you so long?
Friends, I have applied thousands of times, went on a plethora of interviews, completed tons of job shadows, and attended numerous volunteer workshops and all I can really say is that the process is equivalent to that of dating. It takes patience. You have to find the right match for yourself and similarly you have to be a solid match for the company as well. This process where we figure it out involves asking the right questions during the interview and really getting to know the company and the folks who would be your team members.
And that goes without saying, there were some companies who knew right away if they wanted me or if they did not want me; and then there were companies who never responded. I used these obstacles and hurdles as motivation. In my previous job, it took instances of feeling hopeless, where I realized if I could gather the experience I need or want to gain for my next job in my current position, then I would be golden. Simple, right?
Hardly. This did not happen overnight.
1) Find your passion and inject it into your current position. If you can build a solid repertoire WHILE you have employment, you are creating the path that will lead you to your next opportunity.
- Attend volunteer workshops
- Volunteer on projects that push your boundaries and force you to try new things
- Apply to promotional positions
- Ask to shadow your boss or a top-notch employee who has the job that you want
- Don’t give up
2) Build an online presence and use it to assist you. If you are unfamiliar with Linkedin or Twitter or blogging, get your name out there in the social media circles within the fields you hold a particular interest.
- Linkedin is a professional networking super highway – use it to your advantage
- Show of your skills (presentations, photography, writing skills, video editing)
- Be bold and creative, it will show you like to push the limits
- Use social media correctly especially when it comes to talking about yourself. Braggarts are never fun to be around.
3) Talk the talk and walk the walk. Learn the lingo and understand why decisions are made a certain way.
4) Let people come to you. More often than not, new positions are offered to those who are not looking for a position/did not know the position existed or would never have considered themselves qualified. So, you’re probably wondering, how did they apply?
Internal employees or Recruiters will come to you if they see you have what it takes. The best ways to show off yourself is via social media in the form of presentations/blogging/tweeting/photography, etc.
5) Find your niche and stick with it! Good things come to those who are clear and patient.
On a more personal note, I was about to give up on my job search a month ago until I received an anonymous but personalized e-mail and a phone call about a position. It just so happened to be the jobs I just recently landed. I posted a presentation that I had created and inserted it into my profile. All it took was that presentation to lead me to 7 successful interviews and a new opportunity.
I cannot begin to thank those who have supported me, encouraged me and showed me that anything can happen especially when you push yourself out there and reach for what you want. Sure, you don’t always get it but it’s worth a shot.
Anyone can do that or get there. All it takes is some structure, time and patience. It will happen when you least expect but if you can stay focused and remember your deep passions, you will never go wrong.