In these tough economic times, one needs to expand one’s thinking, become flexible to changes in the ways in which a job search is conducted, and open one’s mind to new possibilities. Sounds great, but what does that mean?
Let’s be blunt: some jobs may not be coming back for a while, if ever. If that is the case in your situation, you need to do some serious thinking. You may wish to consider training for a new position in a different industry. What jobs are in demand now? What are the jobs of the future? To what other areas may your natural talents apply?
If you are mechanically inclined, what jobs would use that natural ability? If you are good at numbers and mathematics, what are the emerging opportunities in new industries and positions that would fully utilize this ability? You say you are highly organized, always prepared, and always have things in the right place at the right time—what jobs require that ability? We all have natural abilities, what are yours?
Community colleges and vocational schools may be able to prepare you for a bright future. If you are interested in the healthcare industry, consider training to become an X-ray technician. If you are good at numbers and have strong keyboarding abilities, consider training for medical billing or coding. If you are a computer whiz, consider training for computer networking, graphic design, or computer information sciences.
Accountants usually find jobs more quickly than many other professionals. If you are organized, love numbers, and always have your checkbook in balance, consider training to become an accountant or payroll clerk. Vocational training is available.
It is important when conducting a job search to utilize multiple tools. Almost everyone is spending too much unproductive time these days on internet job sites. These should not be ignored; however, these need to be coupled with other job-search methods.
Often companies are looking for in-house referrals from other employees. Who do you know, or who can refer you to a company that would be a good fit for your abilities?
Even social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others may be a source of leads.
Research companies that would be a good fit for your abilities. Develop a list of company websites, and search those for job leads. You may find a position advertised on a company website that has not been yet posted on an internet job site. In other words, when a position is listed on a company website, and before it is posted on an internet job site, you may beat the competition.
Networking online is coming on strong. If you are on LinkedIn, join some “Groups” that match your areas of expertise.
For many, the number one job search method is networking. A good definition of networking is meeting, talking, and communicating with people. Not really so tough.
Another good idea in your job search is to speak with the correct decision maker. If you are in manufacturing, who is the manufacturing manager? If you are an operations or administration expert, who is the operations manager? Like accounting? Who is the accounting manager, controller, or chief financial officer? If you are interested in human resources, who is the manager of that department? The person who runs the department is the person who will make the hiring decision, or be very influential in that decision.
If you find in your research that the type of work you do is strong in Ohio but slow in California, move to Ohio for a few months, or permanently. Become flexible. Open your mind to new possibilities. Explore new ideas.
In summary, use new approaches in your job search. Open your mind to new possibilities. Explore areas of training that would fit your abilities. Use social media and online networking sites. Go in the back door, and meet with employees at companies, develop rapport, and learn about openings before they are published.
Run a comprehensive job search, and be sure to use proven job-search methods as well.
Richard M. Knappen is the president of Chessmen Career Movers, an outplacement, career management, and consulting firm that is one of the oldest and largest locally-owned companies of its type in Southern California.