You are in the midst of a tough job search and doing what you thought you were supposed to do. Doling things like applying to jobs, even doing some networking with some friends and family, but nothing is working.
Well perhaps it is time to start taking your networking to the next level with one of these 5 innovative ideas.
1. Start Your Own Networking Group
That’s what I did. I noticed that in Halton there wasn’t an online networking group, so I created one on Facebook. An online one is great as it allows you to network with other job seekers and of course lots of employed people and it is a comfortable way to start building relationships. Maybe you could even host some in person events to meet with the group “live”.
To start one, pick your platform – Facebook or LinkedIn are great for online. LinkedIn is more professional but the groups aren’t always super active. Facebook is great because it is more interactive, but some people may not think to look for a networking group on Facebook.
Another alternative is to start a MeetUp group which is more geared to in person but has an online component, the big draw back is cost as MeetUp doesn’t allow anyone to create a group for free.
Once you’ve created the group make sure you invite all of your friends and family, promoting it in relevant Facebook groups and post about it on all your social media channels. Then begin to target individuals who are in careers, companies and industries that you want. That way you can begin to build those key relationships for your future.
2. Post a Video Resume
Create a video (or series of videos) and post it on relevant social media channels (especially LinkedIn). Don’t regurgitate your resume though, instead use this as an opportunity to help potential employers understand what you have achieved, how you made a difference and what you are capable of achieving in the future.
Make sure your personality is shining through, that is what this video resume is, a chance for a potential employer (or networking contact) to see YOU. Keep is short and sweet, around 2 minutes and it goes without saying, be professional.
3. Give Back
This especially works if you are in an active job search (read: not working), instead of treating your job search like a full time job, get out of your head and give back.
Find a volunteer opportunity that allows you to keep your skill set active or even build new skills that will be useful for your future job.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again…) that a positive mindset goes a LONG way in a career so keeping yourself productive while giving back to your community will keep your spirits high. Plus, it will look good on your resume and LinkedIn profile!
4. Knock On Doors
In this world of technology, the personal touch gets lost. We hide behind our computer screens and apply to jobs and hope for the best.
Sometimes we need to go old school, especially for a job we really want. So if a dream job comes up at a dream company, apply through normal channels, do your research on the potential hiring manager and reach out through email. Then print out your resume and show up in person. At the front desk, simply state that you wanted to drop an application off to the hiring manager (providing their name). You never know, the manager may be available and may pop down to see you. Stranger things have happened!
No matter what, it shows that you take initiative and that you aren’t afraid to go the extra mile for something you are passionate about.
5. Take Advantage of Everyday Moments
Every day we are faced with potential networking opportunities – I’ve heard of jobs happening based off of conversations on the soccer field, in the dentist’s chair and running into old friends.
Since networking is about getting people invested in your success based off of building strong relationships it doesn’t have to happen in a traditional “professional setting”. Start asking people questions while out and about and casually mention your next move.
Taking control and ownership of your future will not only help uncover those hard to find opportunities but it will also boost your confidence and set you up for success when they do come around.
Are you struggling in your job search? Book a free consult, we'll talk it through, I'll give you some actionable advise so that you can (finally) land that right career.
You know me. I don’t do warm and fuzzy when it comes to the job search or career changes. You see, I’m a big believer in you knowing the good, the bad and the ugly (with an emphasis on the latter 2) so that you can be prepared. Knowing what can come allows you to come up with a plan. Either a plan of how you will handle it, so that you can overcome these challenges. Or a plan of how you can mitigate these risks, so that they either pass you by or hit with a softer punch.
1. Ageism Exists
No one wants to believe it. Especially since it is ILLEGAL for companies and managers to discriminate you. But it does, I’ve seen it first hand. In a recent AARP survey they found that 48% of people over 50 have witnessed or experienced ageism.
This reverberates throughout the last decade or two of your career. Meaning that you’re more likely to be passed up for a promotion and definitely more likely to be laid off. Compounding the problem is that for individuals over 55, a job search takes longer due to pervading stereotypes preventing companies from requesting an interview or presenting an offer.
It also exists the other way too, there is a stereotype of millennials that has pervaded the thoughts of companies, especially ones that are holding on to their “traditional” culture. But it doesn’t just impact their ability to get a job but also impacts their salary as they make 20% less than Gen X and other generations did at the same age.
Want more? I did a Facebook Live about this very topic.
2. Most People Hate Their Jobs
52% of people hate their job. Every time I write that out I’m floored. I don’t know why it shocks me though since I spent 15 years in a career I didn’t like! It is hard to find true success and happiness in our careers and jobs if we don't like them.
This means we are less engaged, less productive and less everything. It has a detrimental impact on our feelings of self-worth.
So when you are finally ready to find that fulfilling career it is a little bit harder. Find ways to love the job you hate so that you can find the career you love.
3. Professional Ghosting is a Thing
It shouldn’t be a thing. But it is. And it is a two-way street, candidates ghosting companies and companies ghosting clients. In fact, CareerBuilder states that 75% of applicants never heard back from an employer during the job search!
It is so unprofessional on both ends. But instead of ranting, let’s talk what YOU can do about it.
Number 1, obviously, don’t ghost. If you change your mind or circumstances just let an interviewer know. Blacklisting can happen and you don’t want to take that chance.
Number 2, if you are ghosted. Follow-Up 2-3x max. If it really rankles you leave a negative review for them on Glassdoor. Then move on, you can’t let the negativity ruin your whole search!
4. Burn Out is on the Rise
Burn Out has gotten so bad that WHO has included it in its International Classification of Diseases . I’ve helped clients in the throes of it and others who are finally seeing the light. I’ve heard from HR across the country who has seen a rise in sick leave due to stress. It is spreading and it can completely derail your career.
Full blown burn out can take a long time to recover from, and there are cases where a person never fully does. Meaning that they need to change working conditions and sometimes careers to stay healthy.
First off, read this article on the signs and symptoms to see if you have Burn Out. Then do something – maybe call your Doctor if it is really bad, hire a coach to ease the suffering or pick ONE thing to get you moving towards a healthier work-life.
5. Your Online Presence is Being Judged
Are you one of the 50% who’ve been passed over because of your online presence? The scary thing is, you can’t even answer that question because you will never know.
I know privacy is becoming a thing of the past, but for the sake of your career you need to be mindful of how you portray yourself.
First off, ignoring LinkedIn, let’s focus instead on the personal social media channels. Are your profiles set to private? If not, have they been scrubbed clean of inappropriate content? Who do you allow to see your profiles from work and if everyone, including management, are you portraying yourself in a way that would discourage promotions? Are you even on social media, if you don’t have any online presence that could also be a problem.
LinkedIn is still important as well. Do you have a personal brand and is your LinkedIn in line with that? Is your profile set up and optimized to showcase you as a leader in your field and to be found by recruiters (giving you more control over the future of your career). Here is my Facebook live where I talked about this.
6. AI is Coming For Your Job
Maybe not everyone’s jobs but there are many jobs that are predicted to be impacted with some resulting in job changes and some resulting in the elimination of certain careers with the introduction of technology, robots and automation never mind Artificial Intelligence.
What can you do? Technology will never be able to cover the soft skills, that is why I focused on the soft skills YOU need to future proof your career in this article.
7. Pay Inequity Exists
Most of us know it, but not everyone truly believes it. But it does. Women make less, People of Colour make less, New Canadians make less. It sucks and it isn’t fair.
So much of it is rooted in ingrained belief systems that just do not hold up. It happens during the offer process when hiring managers just don’t see the person has deserving top dollar and it keeps happening during the performance reviews when those same managers again don’t see the value and therefore do not offer a big raise.
There isn’t much I can do as an individual except keep talking about it. What I do try to do is arm you with the best negotiation tips, tricks with articles and videos so that you can fight for your worth (even though you shouldn’t have to).
7 things that you don’t want to know about. But now that you do, you can come up with a plan. A plan to make sure that your career isn’t impacted by one (or more) of these 7 obstacles.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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