Wednesday, January 9, 2008
A new year is here and with it probably a recession. News of earlier this week -- the unemployment rate in the USA is already rising. Let's not be gloomy, let's get creative and think of new solutions to our job hunting challenges.
I'm going to list seven new ideas below (for 23 more look at my post of last July!) but before you go to my ideas, understand that the power is when you generate your own. Yes, you are creative, and yes, you can have some great ideas to solve your job finding challenges. Get a notebook just for this purpose. Start listing ideas, thoughts, wishes, facts, feelings, and action steps. If you want to know more about how to do this more effectively, read Jack's Notebook, but do this thinking work and you'll thank yourself for it later.
Alright, here are the seven ideas:
1. Look at at newspaper classifieds. I listed in my blog last July the idea of searching the paper for new business start-up's, and articles that give you a notion of what's going on around you. Don't forget the most obvious, the classifieds. With the web having so much, many people are skipping the good old paper. The thing is, many folks doing the hiring aren't all that hip to Craig's list, etc.
2. Put an ad for yourself on your car. Depending on where you go and what you do, your car is seen by hundreds of people, or more, a week. Why not blow up a business card at Fed-Ex Kinko's and put a banner on top that says your looking for a certain situation, like, "Looking for Design Work" or "Available as of 3/1/2008!" or "Qualified X-Ray Tech", and of course have a phone number and/or email address.
3. Create a Facebook Profile. If you don't have a Facebook profile, get one. Job Finding is about exposure and this is a new way to get a lot of exposure. Some employers and recruiters are browsing for specific types of talent. Put your basic data up there, leave out the personal stuff about your dating life, and give people ideas about what you are good at and what you can do for them. Consider also leaving out your birthday and data that can easily be used for identify theft, do protect yourself! Job-hunt.org has good data on how to protect your privacy and a lot of good advice about how to use the web for job hunting.
4. Do a Special Web Page. Do you have your own website? Why not? It can be very inexpensive and there are several easy to use, create your own page, products out there. For a start post your resume and job desires. Register your personal name, i.e. John Smith, with GoDaddy or another domain management site. You should start behaving as if you are a brand. You don't have to be Tony Robbins to have a website with your own name.
5. Do some Buzz marketing. Create word of mouth by handing out a card to pass on to others. State the kind of job you are looking for at the top, have your phone number/email address. Ask people to simply forward the card to someone who might know of, or be in a position to hire you for your target work. Print up a mess of them, and hand them out wherever you go. When out and about state directly that you are job hunting and you are trying an experiment to find work. Ask for the favor of reading the card and passing it on to someone else if they can't help you. Thank them and move on. Some people will wave you off, some will be nice, and some won't. Ignore the negative and keep passing out the cards. Also, stick them up on bulletin boards, and on counters. I found a house sitter in just this way, by picking up a card at a candy shop near my vacation home.
6. Follow the growth. Consider pulling up stakes and going where the jobs are. Where are the jobs? Where economies are growing. How do you tell? One way is to Google search on "growth cities". I found an article that listed the fastest growing towns -- http://www.talkgold.com/forum/r18698-.html. Move to Texas! Three of the fastest growing cities in the USA are there, San Antonio, Houston, and Fort
Worth. Scan the list, find a city that appeals to you (maybe you have friends there, maybe it's close to where you are now, maybe it has unique opportunities in your field, etc.) and start research jobs in that area. It may seem like a big step, but sometimes you have to be Bold to find work, it may require that you Move.
7. Finally, the government employs a lot of people! The Riley Guide has a website to help you find US government jobs, see http://www.rileyguide.com/gov.html.
Best of luck with your job hunting. Let us know how you are doing!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
It's been a good year for Jack's Notebook. I've received about a dozen reviews on Amazon, all five stars with the exception of one four star. I got an email recently saying that it looked unrealistic and that it wasn't kosher to have all your friends do reviews. I do know about half my reviewers, or at least have met them. The other half were unsolicited, so I'm not sure what to do to look better -- encourage a few negative reviews? See:http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0785221662/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?%5Fencoding=UTF8&coliid=&showViewpoints=1&colid=&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
I heard recently from a couple of non-reviewing readers who've been inspired to do specific things because of Jack's Notebook. One started a chapter of the American Creativity Association in Greenville, North Carolina. Another asked me to generate ideas for Job Finding, which I posted on this blog. That post stimulated a podcast, several emails, and an invitation to talk about my ideas on a Chicago radio show.
Best of luck to everyone in the new year, let's make 2008 a year of creative and innovative solutions, big and small. All the best...