Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help Yourself Get a Job

Obviously in the current state of our economy I’ve noticed several friends looking for jobs. With the flood of applicants it’s increasingly more difficult to separate yourself from the crowd. So I thought if I were in this position what are some things that I personally would do to improve my marketability.

1)Join Toastmasters
I was first turned on to this idea by Steve Pavlina. What are the benefits? You learn to speak well in front of large groups and also develop leadership skills. Generally the atmosphere is very laid back and participants give you great positive feedback. Best of all, it’s about $54 dollars a year to join. Not much at all. I have already noticed a dramatic change in my ability to speak in front of others. Best of all, this translates to one on one communication as well.

2) Create a Blog or Examiner Site
Let your future boss know that you care and are following your industry. Take a moment everyday to accumulate a few story/ies from your industry and write out a brief synopsis or description, or write a post about a topic affecting your industry. A friend of mine uses www.examiner.com to speak about his industry. Not only does this let your potential employer know you are continuing to follow your industry; it allows you to display and improve your writing skills. Go for quality over quantity and have an “editor” who will read over your work.

3)Get Involved in Your Community
Church, Habitat for Humanity, Soup Kitchens, Goodwill, Community Fairs, Retirement Homes, etc. The list is literally endless. You have the time so get involved and help make a difference. An added benefit is that often these community projects will enable you to develop connections with others in your community. If you sweat together with someone you’ve developed a connection. Those connections can lead to job opportunities.

4)Take a Life Changing Trip
This is an idea I read in Four Hour Week. Tim Ferris recommends going somewhere you have always wanted to go and just experience the location. Without time constraints a month somewhere is sustainable. Tell your boss, "I had the opportunity to travel to take the trip of a lifetime and I couldn't pass it up." In fact there are lots of ways to live somewhere for free once you’ve paid travel costs. Long trips can renew our spirit and strengthen our resolve to push forward.

5)Learn a new skillset
Depending on your industry there are probably some skills you could polish up on. Maybe developing some programming/web development skills could benefit you . Or perhaps you could start learning a new language. Take this free time to develop your biggest asset in life which is yourself.

I don’t think any of these suggestions are earth shattering, but they all reveal something. When a potential employer asks what you’ve been doing you can respond, “The increased free time I have had has enabled me to develop myself both personally and professionally. I’ve recently….” That’s gusto, that’s wow factor, that’s separation from the competition. I guarantee you very few if any of the candidates you are competing against are doing this. If an employer sees that you have gone to work since being out of work they’ll be impressed. Get out there and do something.

No comments:

Post a Comment