The unemployment rate in the US fell to 3.9% as the job growth increased as reported in March 2018. This is fantastic news! However, securing a job in the increasingly competitive 21st Century is still a struggle for a lot of people. You have probably been through a period where you looked for a job for a long time but still didn’t find one. You got frustrated. It is a tiresome process that most people would rather not go through especially if you do it in the conventional way which involves crafting your resume, dropping it at an office or sending it through email and waiting for that magic call. You could also add hours spent hoping and wishing that the call comes through. It is stressful. This conventional way of looking for employment is what recruiters call ‘post and pray’.
The process is even more frustrating if you have acquired a proper education and have good grades. Unfortunately, not all employers are able to see your best qualifications through this conventional method.
We are currently living in unconventional times and learning smarter ways of getting a job is a skill you need. There is a very high demand for smarter professionals in the 21st Century. Read on for you smarter, unconventional ways to secure your next job! Or even create one…
Smart ways of finding a job in the 21st Century.
Go talk to people; leave your laptop at home.
- Start by making a list of all the networks that you already have. This could be from your past professional experience and alumni networks that you belong to. This will make you more comfortable as it is always easier to approach people you already know.
- Become a lover of conversations and coffee! Ask for advice from people because hey! People love to share their wisdom. People especially love to talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and how they got there. It’s a psychological fact! Show up and syphon this wisdom and use it to your advantage!
- Make sure that you reconnect with people who have helped you in the past. They are the best referrals as they already know you and your skills. It is easier to get a job through them as you already have a warm relationship.
- Make new friends and build your professional network. The most valuable currency in the 21st Century is your networks. I am sure you have heard several times that your network equals your net worth. It is true. So go ahead and become a real person. Talk to people. Make lasting connections. This will be hard at first especially if you are an introvert. With time, it will pay off!
- This does not mean that you stop looking for jobs online entirely. This is just to teach you to broaden your ways and move a step further towards your dream job! You might end up with a cool best friend and a brand new job!
Tip: If you’re scared to approach people, always ask yourself ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen anyway?’ The worst thing that could happen is getting a ‘No’ from these people. But as I said earlier, people love to share their wisdom. And always remember that every No brings you closer to your next Yes!
Take time to explore your interests – this is how people discover their passions.
- Don’t hesitate to talk to people about your interests. Share with them about the kind of work you would love to do. Tell them what type of job keeps you awake at night! My dream job is to be a writer who travels. You know, contribute to this blog as I globetrot! Go deeper into the conversation and share why you have such interests. You might meet people who share the same interests as you! which might lead to a job or a partnership.
- You should be open to learning new things from people. Through this, you might discover a new interest. I never knew I would be interested in ice skating. A friend of mine introduced it to me a few months ago. With constant practice, I have become so good that I’m currently working on forming an ice skating club! Then later figure out how to monetize it, of course! In the 21st Century, you have to be willing to learn new things. It’s a constantly changing world!
- Be willing to explore your area of interest in a broad way. The world is full of cool people. People who are doing interesting stuff beyond your imagination. People who are pursuing your interests and passions in the coolest of ways. Explore. Learn. Ask questions.
Treat your unemployed time as a gift!
- It is a gift to you. Time is a precious gift. It is the most valuable resource of all time. Ask yourself, how best can I utilize this time? There are a lot of options. Volunteer in an organization you care about, give your time to a friend (or stranger) who is struggling with a startup, explore a hobby that you have been meaning to experience. The list is endless. The internet has a lot of these suggestions. I started this blog during my unemployed period; you can do the same too with your passion.
- Use this time to further build your CV. There are so many cool CV templates and guidelines on Pinterest especially. Use them to revamp your CV. You can also use a coach during this time to help you with your CV as well as help you interview skills. All these things might end up landing you your next big job or giving you ideas on starting your entrepreneurial journey.
In the 21st Century, the post and pray method of finding jobs doesn’t cut it. You have to do more. Go a step further. Be unconventional and creative. Employers are looking for the passion that you possess, not necessarily the skills. A lot of times, it’s not your skills that will give you the job, it’s your commitment and creativity. If you are actively involved in your interests, opportunities will find you.
Be creative in everything you do. Including finding a job! And expanding your network.! As always, knowledge has to be applied in order to be useful. Use the above tips and share your progress in the comment section!