Looking for a job is a job in itself. Some people may find the right job by chance, but for the vast majority, finding the right job demands a lot of time and effort, and in some cases money. So the key is to have the right attitude to succeed in your search.
Be Patient. It is worth it.
Fortunately, if you bare the process, the result may change your life for the best. Let’s face it, most of us spend more time at work than with our family or friends, so it is worth the effort.
Take some time to think about what you really want.
Of course you need a wage to pay your bills, but selecting the right job for you is not just comparing salaries or choosing a nice position. The right job has to do with activities you enjoy, with having a sense of achievement, having the opportunity to learn and to develop your skills. The right job for you has to do with the environment in which you will be spending eight hours a day every day, the type of people you will be surrounded with, the values you stand for. A job that is right for you will improve your quality of life.
So, before opening the newspaper or hitting the search bar take some time to think about what you really want. What makes you happy? Try to make stereotypes aside. It seems that an administrative position in a nice office is a catch. However, if you are very outgoing and talkative and you get bored easily you may feel quite miserable in that type of job. A job that involves talking with customers facing different situations might be more appropriate for you. So think hard about all of this before you choose your target.
Be ambitious, but realistic.
Once you pinpoint your ideal job, you may face the fact that you do not have a realistic chance of obtaining it yet. But think beyond “now”, think about starting lower down the ladder and the chances the company will give you to make your way up.
Now that you know what to look for, start looking actively! Where? First of all, tell your friends and family. They might come across the perfect vacancy for you. Or maybe the friend of a friend… so … spread the news! Look at the ads in the newspapers, surf the online job boards, go to recruitment agencies. But most important, if you know of a company that fits your expectations be proactive. Send a nice CV with an adequate cover letter explaining why you would be an asset for the company. It is even better to go in person, ask to speak to a person in the Human Resources department and explain why you are there. There may not be a vacancy at that moment, but they will surely remember you if a position becomes available.
Of course it takes time an effort to prepare a good CV, a good cover letter, to search for the right job and to finally hand in your CVs. However, the most stressful part of the process comes right after you send a few CVs and after you visited your dream company and learnt there are no vacancies.
It is very important to be patient, and to be positive that an opportunity will come your way. Do not despair. Stick to the plan. Continue searching for opportunities. If you go up to an employer and ask if there is a vacancy and turn around as soon as they say “No” you will never hear from them again. However, if right after “No” you hand in your CV and cover letter with a smile and explain that you will be grateful if they let you know when a vacancy opens because you are very interested in becoming part of such a prestigious company, your possibilities to hear from them will be much higher.
Getting a job is not the end of a journey but the beginning of a new one. Life is growth. Be ready to give your best whatever you do. Be ready to learn every day. Soon you will discover that when you are the best at what you do, new jobs will start looking for you!
In part 5, we discuss what employers look for in a CV.