Finding a job in today’s economic climate can be a tough feat. While the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November, they attributed the drop, in large part, because more people simply stopped looking for work, and thus were not counted as being unemployed.
While the government did say that employers added 49,000 fewer jobs than expected in October and September, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find a job. This just means that you have to be more creative when looking for employment. Think outside the box when it comes to looking for a job. Here are seven creative places to look for a job:
Expand Your Network to Everyone You Know
In the past five years, I have had to find a new job five times. Every single time I was looking for a new job, I emailed everyone I knew and let them know that I was looking for a job. Too many times, people will focus solely on their official network contacts of previous employers and co-workers. Your network needs to consist of everyone you know, from your dentist to your hairdresser to your dog walker.
I once got connected with a fellow writer through my hairdresser. She had another client that was looking for a job and since she knew I worked in the writing field, she put me in touch with her. It didn’t spawn into anything, but it is an example of how it could have. Think of it as a form of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon–but Six Degrees of Landing a Job. Eventually, someone you know will know someone who knows someone who has a job opening. Bottom line: Get the word out.
Chamber of Commerce
Most people don’t take full advantage of their local Chamber of Commerce, but here’s the big secret about them: they love businesses! They are a great place to look for a job because their sole happiness relies on promoting local businesses. Many local businesses attend the Chamber’s monthly meetings. By attending one of these monthly meetings, you can connect your way into several local businesses and create relationships with business owners. This is a great way to find out about jobs before they’re even publicized.
Volunteer Your Services
At one point in my career, I knew that I was going to be laid off. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the pink slip to arrive, I set out to market myself. I was able to find a lot of nonprofit organizations that were in need of public relations services, which included social media marketing, website design, blog writing, press release distribution, etc.
By building relationships with these nonprofit organization and volunteering my services, they were more than happy to promote my services to their contacts–several of which offered paying gigs. Investing just a bit of your time could come back to help you out tenfold when looking for a job.
Start a Blog
Everyone has heard of the success stories of bloggers turned book authors turned celebrities du jour. File “starting a blog” under “market yourself.” The reason many of these bloggers succeed is because they focus on a specialty they know. Perhaps it’s organic gardening, or SEO research, or baking cake pops, whatever your specialty is, create a blog about it and work on marketing yourself. Christian Personal Finance is a great example of someone who took two of their passions–Christianity and Personal Finance–and started marketing it.
Why wait for the job to come to you? If you’re unemployed and spending your days on the internet (come on, you know you do), perhaps spend some time checking out some local businesses and identify their weakness. Is a delivery business getting bad reviews on Yelp because they don’t have enough drivers? Do you notice that many small local businesses haven’t even set up a Facebook page?
Find a business’ weakness and target them with a solution. You can be their driver, you can manage their social media. If anything, the job can be a temporary solution until your dream job presents itself.
Go Back to School
Getting a higher education could possibly help your job prospects but there’s no guarantee. Instead, think of contacting your alma mater and talking to the career center. Isn’t that one of the benefits of a four-year school–a built-in network of resources? I know my alma mater offers resume reviews, an email database, cover letter help and job search resources–all for FREE! Don’t forget to put your school on the list of places to look for a job.
Look for a Job Through Social Media
If you haven’t already tried it, social media is a great place to find a job. I’ve gotten in touch with recruiters through Twitter and Facebook. Simply use hashtags, such as #job, to perform a search and see what comes up. Check your searches consistently to be kept up to date with the latest information.
Sometimes it has taken me more than five months to look for a job, other times I have found a job in less than a week. The trick is to not get discouraged and to have faith that the right job will eventually present itself. However, you can’t expect that it will simply land on your lap– you need to be proactive when looking for a job. With these seven creative places to look for a job, you’ll be well on your way to making a dent in that job search.