Building on the prior article (“preparing” to land that first professional job) the purpose of this post is to share strategies that a newly degreed job-seeker can use “during the hunt” to stand above the crowd.
Before we do that, I thought it important to ask a couple of questions:
- Does it all seem over-whelming?
- Does any of the material covered seem familiar (with other content published on this blog or what was “hopefully” learned in school)?
Well, rest-assured that if you’ve done the work to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree, the strategies being shared here are child’s play. It just needs to get done!
And, for those really paying attention – ALL this stuff ties together like pieces of a puzzle. Or, building blocks stacked one upon another. It may also be observed that the prior post on this topic and what is about to be covered here is oh so similar to what is outlined in the series on “Launching a Consulting Business.” We’re just starting small (targeting the landing of one’s first professional job). If we can do this well here, and gain some scars of experience over time, we can then step out on faith and do our own thing. But, I digress 🙂
It’s time to go on the hunt!
First, realize – there IS A JOB “OPPORTUNITY” out there specifically designed for YOU. But, YOU must find it. It will NOT find you. And, the secret is relentlessly applying the strategies shared here – until! That is, we can’t say “oh, I have a resume out here, or a job interview there, so I’ll pause the hunt.” No, no, no!
The theme here is: We don’t have our professional job until we have our professional job. So, create and keep the momentum – until the job is 100% officially landed!
Let’s Begin the Hunt
The net offers unlimited information and resources to help land that first (or subsequent) professional job. One site, in particular, that is most prominent is: www.monster.com. I’m not going to share how to use this service, as the job-seeker can simply go to the site and follow their prompts (wizard, so to speak) to get setup and perform the hunt. And, if we’ve done everything shared in the prior post on this topic, we should have ALL of the baseline information necessary to do so – at our fingertips.
Note: while there are other sites available to perform job searches, Monster.com is a fantastic place to get started. Focus here first…
Do Something Above and Beyond
Between the efforts being applied to leverage Monster.com, the job-seeker can do other things to “shamelessly promote” themselves. These things include:
- Start blogging on an area of passion and/or expertise that is aligned with the degree recently achieved.
- Offer to do volunteer work, leveraging the recently acquired skills, at church, an industry association, the local Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Offer prospective employers a “try before you buy” short-term consulting gig.
The first 2 items above are (I hope) fairly self-explanatory. Let me share a little bit on the third item (offering a “try before you buy”). Realize, employers “can be” very reluctant to make a long-term hiring decision. And, in a hyper-competitive environment this means they will take time (to explore many candidates) before they “pull the trigger.”
So, let’s think outside the box. One thing that we can do is offer the prospective employer the opportunity to “try us out” for a predetermined (short-term) period of time, on a consulting basis. This offers the prospective employer an opportunity to:
- Check us out, without making a long term commitment
- Get some stuff done, while they are waiting to make the final / long-term decision
And, this provides the job-seeker a “foot in the door.” Assuming we do (exceptionally) well, after we’ve been inside the firm for 30 +/- days we’ve gained invaluable subject-matter-expertise that the prospective employer would be hard-pressed to let go.
To be prepared for this, it will be important to create a relationship with a temporary staffing agency. The reason: corporations do NOT typically contract with individuals. They will, however, contract with temp agencies. If we are speaking to a prospective employer and indicate that we already have a relationship with a temp agency we’ve made it easy for them to engage us via this method.
Bottom-line: Get creative and don’t simply “wait” for prospective employers to respond to (or find) us. We must make some noise to flush them out, during the hunt!
All the best!