“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that.
Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”
~ Howard Thurman
I started this “series” as gift to a dear friend who is looking for a job…it is intended also to be a gift for all those out there looking for a job, looking to explore new career paths, seeking to start social and environmentally responsibly businesses or even for myself, as we learn when we share and “teach”…
If you are looking for a “formula”, this is not the right place…if you are looking for some suggestions to be a better person (and, at the same time, find a job, business opportunity or new career path) then welcome…I hope this helps! (Feedback is welcome and expected)
Here we go…
So by this point, you may have an idea of “what you want to be when you grow up”…do you?
If you are still uncertain and have an adventurous spirit, I suggest you watch this video: Roman Krznaric on How to Find Fulfilling Work…
If you haven’t read the previous “steps”, start here
Ok, if you already know who you are, what moves you and where you want to be; if you have decided to take responsibility for your own life (job search included), agree with me that paying forward is the best way to go about life and are aware of what the world out there needs and wants…you are ready for this step:
Now you need to make the world out there know you exist. If you don’t show off a bit, nobody will know…opportunities won’t come knocking at your door (unless you have built some fame)…and how do you do this?
1. Network: meet people, go places…find out where people with the same occupation/profession/trade/business go, what they do: conferences, courses, symposiums, events, meetups, online groups and forums, etc.
2. Network in wider circles: Some occupations have “branches” or touch/overlap other industry sectors. This is even more important if you are not 100% certain of your target or when you have more than one target. Sometimes you just need to show up and see…”what you seek is seeking you” (Rumi), so expose yourself because you never know where the life will take you
3. Have informational interviews. These are interviews that have various purposes: to find out more about industry and occupation trends from insiders, to make connections and to expose yourself so they know you exist.
4. Have “business cards” for the different jobs you are targeting: exchanging emails and phone numbers in paper or cell phones is neither professional nor practical: people will not remember who you are or what your target was, and some may not feel comfortable having your cell in their contacts.
5. Create a sharp/professional portfolio to showcase your skills and work. If you are good at social media/computers, I suggest creating an ePortfolio. You can also use LinkedIn for this.
6. Speaking about Social Media: make sure you have a good presence out there and all your accounts are clean and professional. Employers look up your name and want to find both reasons to hire you (or not to hire you), make sure you give them the good ones…
7. Have good resumes targeting the main career goals you have, and have them ready not just in paper, but in a pen drive (ready to download anywhere if needed)
8. Unless you have good reasons not to do it, tell everybody about your passion and your career goal. Not need to overwhelm people, just tell them…people are mostly of good nature and most want to be helpful.
9. If needed, take strategic courses. This is especially true when you have been separated from your trade/profession for more than six months. Updated (and hands-on, industry-related) training plays many roles: it will tell employers that you are updated, that you are proactive and it will give you connections and another opportunity to show what you are able to do, as many colleges have practicum, internships or have connections to industries through their instructors, career departments or other students.
10. Volunteer and be involved and helpful: employers want proactive people who are out there doing stuff, not people who sit quietly behind a laptop sending resumes. Show that you are engage and busy. Volunteering and being part of community activities also helps with the morale, relieves stress and provides plenty of opportunities to show your skills and meet people.
Unfortunately, job search is not easy for the shy ones. You need to force yourself out of your comfort zone, be out there and let your passion shine…
“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”