Saturday, August 3, 2013

Finding Real Work in a Tough Economy

It is still a very difficult economy in which to find meaningful work, especially if you are recently out of college, or you’re struggling to find something in your field of choice.  I have five thoughts based on my experience, and the advice of experts, that I hope might be helpful.

At 21, fresh out of UCLA and about to get married, I scrambled to get a job.  Working at minimum wage at Pine Crest Preschool was not my idea of what I wanted to do after college, but a B.A. in History and Social Science doesn’t get you much!

  • So, my first advice is ‘take anything that is remotely related to what you think you want to do.’  

And, if you can’t find a job doing that, take whatever you can get.

The reason I say this, is because I got a job I really enjoyed later on from a friend who I had worked with at that first minimum wage preschool.  Her recommendation to her new boss landed me a position I would not have known about if it weren’t for her and my willingness to take what I could get.

  • So, the second thing is to connect in a meaningful way with your colleagues, and with those who have jobs in the field you would choose.  Referrals for work are the number one way people get better jobs!

  • Eighty percent of available jobs are never advertised, and over half of all employees get their jobs through networking, according to BH Careers International.

  • The third thought is that you must carry out an active, as opposed to a passive, job search. It is not enough to respond to leads from want ads or employment agencies. Carrying out an active search allows you to control the job search process and opens up many more job opportunities. It is estimated that only 10% of jobs are actually found from online searches.

  • Have a great attitude. Dress appropriately for any job interviews. Remember to smile.

  • The fourth thing is to conduct Informational interviews. Meet with someone from the firm to get more detailed information about the company itself and possibly a job lead.  This shows initiative and helps you to know if a place is where you would like to work.

  • The fifth suggestion if you are a person of faith, is to pray and ask God’s help in your search. Ask Him to inspire you about what you desire to do and with whom you should talk to find out more.

Several years ago I felt a restless feeling that there was something more I wanted to do. I had just prayed about it, and then I talked to a friend at church who mentioned she had too much work to do as an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary.  I mentioned my interest in doing more, and within a day I was called and hired to teach part time.  I believe God put it on my heart to be open to new work, and on my friend’s heart to work less. So, God answered both of our prayers! 

One more thought: Can you be an INTROVERT and have a successful JOB SEARCH? Click on the link to the left and find out!

I pray that God will bless you as you seek him for direction in your life and your work!

Jeremiah 29:11-13  "I know the plans that I have for you. This message is from the Lord. I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future."

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