Let’s look at the story behind finding a job more closely. You graduate from university. Then, you do a couple of internships if possible, and you apply for jobs from related company websites and platforms like monster.com. You get an invitation for an interview, you do the interview and you get a job offer… Or does this story not sound right?
At least standard plans and expectations are based on this. But this process is never that simple and finding a job is never that easy.Every person who has sought a job, changed jobs or considered changing jobs know this.
Then let’s look at how really talented and competent people – or people with self-determination to work and capacity to create a difference – can get good jobs.
Step One: Invest in Skills
People in important positions in corporate company structures might be influencing people. They might get decisions made through the power of their titles. But they improve though their own skills until reaching that point. Or people who founded and grew their own business might seem to have luxurious and powerful lives. But, as a matter of fact, they too struggled to build the necessary skills for the success of their work by doing big sacrifices.
Conditions are changeable, and the benefits they provide for people might change as well. However, the skills you acquire stay with you forever and you can change them into money, occupational advantages a product or a service.
It means you have some technical skills especially if you are studying in engineering, gaining crafting skills or researching deeply in an area of theoretical knowledge. Knowledge of building a chair from scratch can be a very valuable technical skill depending on the situation; so can skill of frontend and backend software development to develop the data architecture of a website or an enterprise.
Generally it is easier to measure and determine technical skills and it requires a big educational investment. So having technical skills, or even more having technical skills that are “compatible with the needs of the age”, opens up great potentials for success in finding a job.
Skills that are “Compatible with the Needs of the Age”
While architecture and civil engineering would be valuable in a society being built from scratch or in a town developing quickly; in a period when the whole industry is switching to digital, technical skills regarding computer software and graphic design will become important and gain advantage.
For these reasons, if you are in university or a pre-working period with opportunities to gain technical skills; this will bring you advantage in your future job-search. It is a high probability that investing in this will bring many benefits. And if you are already in the business life, it is never too late. As Jeff Bezos says, “Every day is a first day” and it is never too late to start learning. It will bring big advantages to foresee the future of especially your area of specialty. So try to gain technical skills in useful areas.
For example if you deal with music or video production, it is critical that you follow new trends and systems in video editing and sharing. Or if you work in accounting within a corporation, it is useful that you follow the information on how accounting and finance automatisation systems started to be used and invest in improving skills of using the new systems.
No matter how improved your technical and theoretical knowledge and production skills, you eventually work in interaction with other people in almost all production processes. If you are in a corporate life or work in a similar environment, you will need to build good relationships, play as a team. You will have teammates that you will need to cooperate with. There will be subordinates that you will need to get to work efficiently. You will have superiors whose expectations you will need to understand and fulfill. The same goes for the ecosystem of entrepreneurship ad freelance. You will need to meet new people, develop new cooperation models and build relationships that are not one-off and are based on mutual trust and respect.
None of the skills such as
- Expressing yourself correctly
- Being a god listener
- Having strong persuasion skills
- Telling attention-grabbing and impressive stories
- Being a good networker
- Being able to work under stress without breaking
- Managing time well and punctuality
- Not being easily demotivated and even being able to motivate people around you
are technical, but they are as important as the technical skills in the success of your business or enterprise.
Step Two: Be Reachable
Let’s say you started completing the minimum necessary skillset for being a good employee, now it’s time to be reachable.
Employers put out hundreds of job adverts every day and try to fill the open positions in their companies. The first criteria in finding a job today is to being reachable.
Don’t trap yourself in your comfort zone.
- Invest in your LinkedIn profile. Don’t just put in your university especially if you are a student entering business life for the first time. Put the technical and social skills you have in a visible and attention-grabbing way. Clarify the work areas that you think you would be a suitable candidate for. Write your objectives and make them visible. If you are a professional at early stages of her career, don’t hold back from sharing your future dreams. The biggest advantage you can have when expressing your skills and passions is the ability to list concrete proof for these. Don’t miss this opportunity.
- Invest in your CV or your personal history. A CV that takes the reader (employer) experience into account, emphasizes your accomplishments and makes you look strong will directly affect the job interview opportunities you will have. Your CV is your personal display. Unfortunately, it is maybe the most effective document in the decision of whether to invite you for an interview or not. Don’t forget that you can get professional help in creating your CV. You can actually increase your chance of employment with the increasing quality of you CV. Do not leave your CV under 3 pages, put in the skills that highlight you and express what you have done for your future goals in a right way. All these deserve time and attention.
- Follow the online channels that people of your aim occupation spend time on and be active in these kinds of communities. For example if your aim is to work in advertising, use platforms such as designcrowd.com and crowdspring.com where people share their own designs and sometimes earn extra side income. Similarly, if you have goals in the programming field, use stackoverflow.com; if you have goals in human resources, use LinkedIn HR groups.
Step Three: Invest in your Network
Many of the job opportunities are filled through the social circle of the employers and their indirect circle of friend contacts. With the exceptions of very corporate and large-scale hirings, the employer will first notify his own circle and network. Then secondary acquaintances will be notified before almost every hiring. There is an opinion that this is unfair, though I find it to be natural. Because eventually, people trust indirect acquaintances; the relationship in between serves as some sort of an insurance for them. For this reason, the relationships you will build especially with people with a wide and right circle will be very valuable and effective.
- Move with focus. When it comes to network development, I see a tendency in many people to give out business cards to everyone – including complete strangers. Or they tell everyone they see that they need a job. It is not possible to build useful relationships in this way. Contact professionals in whichever sector, business field or area of profession you want to move in; tell them about yourself, your passions, motivations and skills. Even better; do small enterprises or voluntary works in this area to show your passion and gain confidence through showing these. Build upon this.
- Value quality, not quantity. You’ll gain more from two people you know in right places, have developed good relationships with, chat or joke with. These are people whose trust you earned. They will help you much more than 20 people whose name and e-mail you know only. So aim at building sincere and real dialogues with people you know – even if their number is low – instead of meeting as many people as possible. Keep it few but real.
In summary, finding a job suitable for your qualities and skills is not a process you can leave to chance; but the upside is that it is no longer just a matter of chance to come across good job opportunities. You can create your own opportunities by investing in your skills, making your social and professional profile attractive, and building the right network.
Keep on reading: Job Search Techniques: Where to look and How to Find