Whether you’re fresh out of school and ready to start your career or are hoping to make a major career shift, navigating the job market can be challenging. Finding open positions is often time consuming and looking for work can begin to feel like a job in itself. Even more difficult is the struggle to find a company that’s right for you and your career goals. If you’re ready to start navigating the job market, following these key tips can help.
Build Your Network
From the first time you set foot on a job site or in a venue where you have the opportunity to interact with professional individuals, focus on building your network and getting to know people in your desired field. With tons of social media and meet up applications devoted to building your professional network, developing critical connections is a MUST. Get to know people, pick their brain and put yourself out there. While this can be intimidating, the process of building relationships will only benefit you in the future and your socialization skills will improve with each interaction. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the job market for years, building your network is essential in continued career growth. You never know when connections you’ve made can help you get your foot in the door of a company you’ve been eyeing. Try the following suggestions to expand your network:
- Carry business cards. This may seem cliché, but it’s one of the best ways to get your name in the right hands.
- Strike up a conversation with people you encounter at your local coffee shop, the library, or any place you visit regularly to get to know people in your area. You never know when one of them will be ready to offer you your next job or know someone who is!
- Volunteer. To get more experience, meet new people and give back to your community, volunteering can be greatly beneficial to growing your network base and your knowledge.
Don’t Burn Bridges
If you feel your current job isn’t working out and intend on leaving, do your best to leave on good terms. Keep in mind, it’s beneficial to have a good reference from your previous employers. No matter how bad the circumstances, it’s best to give your employers appropriate notice, try not to leave in the middle of a project, and keep your work ethic strong even in the last days of your employment. Burning your bridges with one company may make it harder for you to get your next job.
Build Your Skills
The more skills you have, the more positions are open for you. Taking the time to develop specialized skills will make it far easier for you to acquire a job in the future. While networking, ask questions and soak up information like a sponge. Explore free resources whether that be at the library or online and expand your knowledge. Your willingness to learn new things and better your skill set is a quality potential employers will appreciate. Plus, these skills can be an immense benefit to you later.
Work With A Staffing Agency
Staffing agencies that are specifically dedicated to your field of interest can be extremely helpful in landing a job. A staffing agency can help you find a temporary position to get more experience under your belt and give you an opportunity to get a feel for the position and improve your network. This can be a nice option if you’re not quite sure the company or position is the right fit for you. Agencies can also assist you in finding permanent employment and often have access to more job listings than the average individual.
Navigating the job market can be frustrating, but it’s not impossible! In following this guidance, you’ll improve your chances of being hired at the company of your choice. Be confident there’s a job opening with your name on it - You just have to find it!