A System for Finding Work

Job hunting is a challenge at the best of times and especially so when the economy is slow and you are new to the country, unfamiliar with the culture and have little or no network of people you need to know for a successful job hunt.

Times like this require creativity and organization. These are the two sides of the equation. Creativity is about how do you differentiate yourself from the many other people competing for attention, and then how do you implement these ideas into action?

When it comes to creativity, the good news is you are already unique, already different and so it’s not about trying to be different but more about knowing how to express the uniqueness that is already there.

However, when it comes to being organized, this generally requires effort beginning with making a commitment to doing what is needed to get results.

Finding a job can be compared to selling a product or service. Think of your skills and experience as the product or service you are providing. What are the benefits that your particular working background provides, and what kind of organizations might require those benefits?

Just like in sales, finding a job can be somewhat of a numbers game. The more people you are in contact with the more chance there is of finding an opportunity that fits what you need. There is a saying: Good luck is where preparedness and opportunity meet.

Much preparation is required. When selling a product or service, there is usually a flyer or brochure presented. When it comes to job search the equivalent to this is the resume and cover letter. These should be designed to get the employer’s attention.

Searching for opportunities in your chosen field will require a combination of responding to advertised positions as well as proactively approaching potential employers who are not presently advertising. The first will mean sending out resumes for job interviews, the second requires requesting information interviews in order to meet potential employers.

Think about this; if it means securing 5 job or information interviews to get one job, and to secure one of these interviews means 20 applications or approaches to employers in your field, then you will need to identify and apply to 5 x 20 = 100 employers to come close to realizing the results you are looking for. Assuming you are attempting to find employment within a 6 month period, then you will need to set a goal of approaching at least 4 or 5 employers a week.

I recommend that you go to “work” by recognizing that finding a job is a job!

This will require a commitment of time, a system that records the names of organizations to approach for information as well as for work, and a way of recording your follow up activities and the outcomes from this follow up. The more you commit to this strategy, the faster suitable employment can be secured.

This will require a very proactive approach to your job search which includes making phone calls, going to industry events, job fairs and even possibly volunteering in your professional field. It will also require being persistent in following up with employers. One cannot expect employers to respond always to your first call to them. They are busy people and it can often take 3 to 5 follow ups before you get through to them. Of course this needs to be done in an appropriate way so as not to be seen to be causing a nuisance.

The Skills Connect program can provide you with the information and the tools, as well as the encouragement to do what is necessary to find suitable employment. One such tool is the Job Development Tracking Form available through our program. However, your willingness to apply the strategies on a consistent basis is what makes the difference between the person who is eventually successful and those who are not.