Well, we did it. We made it through what will probably be the worst year in many of our lives. I am not one wish time away; however, I must say that I was not sad to see 2009 go.
So it’s 2010 and with all of our energy, talent, and optimism, we ask, “We do we go from here?”
One great place to start would be in discovering and uncovering the hidden job market. Did you know that between 75 percent and 85 percent of jobs are not advertised in classified ads, corporate sites, or online job boards? All the rest of the employment opportunities are “hidden” in places that are often tucked out of plain site. January is a great month to target these invisible career opportunities.
There is a great web site, www.job-hunt.org, that can really provide you with some great career transition strategies.
Here are some excellent techniques for uncovering the hidden job market:
- PUSH OUTWARD — Reach out to potential employers, friends, and colleagues. Become socially active and let others know that you are on the hunt. Don’t turtle! And be ready to tell others where you want to go with your career in a brief, poignant statement.
- VOLUNTEER — Volunteering is a great way to meet people and give back at the same time. If you can find volunteer opportunities within your field of expertise, even better.
- KEEP IN THE KNOW — Research and read up on what is going on in your field and industry. This is a great way to find out who is growing and hiring. Subscribe online to periodicals, trade publications, etc… A lot of the information is free, while some periodicals come at a small price.
- JOIN REAL AND VIRTUAL SOCIAL GROUPS — Even if you consider yourself to be very shy, these groups can be very helpful in connecting you with potential employers and co-workers, and they can also help you stay up to date with what is happening in an industry or profession. Social networking websites are becoming more and more popular as ways to connect with people you know and to meet new people. Recruiters do use these sites to find qualified people for their open jobs, so they can be a variation on job boards, particularly with LinkedIn, which uses job postings from job aggregator SimplyHired. Remember that when you create and add to your profile, don’t post anything that would make a potential employer avoid contacting you.
- TAP INTO PROFESSIONAL AND ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS — Tapping the hidden job market means retracing the steps you have taken in your career. Your previous associations at school and in industry are often tied to an alumni or professional association. Use these groups to re-connect with people who already share expertise and interest in your field. Many of these groups have career development and job placement support activities, so call them.
- CREATE OR JOIN A JOB-HUNTING SUPPORT GROUP — With so many people out of work, groups of like-minded individuals are forming to share networks, experiences, and job opportunities in weekly meetings that take place in a casual environment like a coffee shop, restaurant, or even a local library. If you come from a large corporation, many people are forming support groups that are from this specific pool of displaced workers — so ask around.
The New Year is upon and now is the time to get recharged and refocused on our careers and the rebuilding of the workforce. Let’s tear the cover off of the hidden job market and get everyone productive and employed again. Let me know if you have other ideas to generate employment leads.