This time of year Ron and I get flooded with requests for help in finding a job. New grads are hitting the “real-life” job market while others are in some sort of job transition.
I responded to one inquiry recently, with what I called a “mentoring moment,” designed to help her be more successful in looking for work. I believe these tips are crucial when asking people for ideas, connections, and assistance in any job search. What follows is my email in response to her inquiry, with suggestions that can help anyone looking for a job.
Dear Shari (name is changed)
Wow, it’s hard to believe you are graduating already, seems like just yesterday you were starting college. We are so proud of you and the ways you have grown. Glad you wrote and happy to offer some thoughts as you search for “marketplace work.”
“Marketplace” is an extremely broad and somewhat vague category. We need to know your specific interests within that category:
- What is your exact degree?
- How might you envision yourself using it?
- What specific types of work do you enjoy most?
Have you read my book? It would be perfect timing now if not. Dive into the exercises, write a purpose statement for your life, get specific about people you need to help you in the next stage of your life and journey. Consider going through my podcast series too, “Lunch with Lynette” and find those ideas that are especially useful at this juncture. My resources are simply one of many. Learn everything, be hungry for mentoring and find tools that can help you get more DEFINITION and SPECIFICITY around your interests and goals.
Ron and I are both well-connected to many people, companies, etc., but it’s difficult to help when someone comes with vague needs. People who are well-connected and knowledgeable will not typically respond to that type of inquiry (people wonder why they don’t get a response, it’s often because they weren’t specific.) If you can learn to be very specific such as, “I’m interested in XYZ company because I saw they have an opening for XYZ position, do you know of anyone at that company or can you help me tailor my resume for that position?” anyone with expertise or connections will be glad to assist you.
- Do research on companies in cities where you’re open to living,
- Find specific job openings that appeal
- Do research on these jobs, understand the qualifications
- Figure out how to tell your story in a way that aligns with these openings
- Work with your college placement office
- Work hard at networking with people you know from church, your school, and family, those who can help you gain an interview within these companies
- Start targeting specific companies and jobs vs. just looking at your future as “I want to be in the marketplace”
Newspapers have classified ads, temp agencies have jobs and in many cases these temp assignments turn into permanent jobs (this is how I got my first job out of college as well as many summer jobs.) Find out which temp agencies are in your area, go in and apply.
You are gifted, qualified, talented, with a wonderful heart and personality. You can find a great job that God has already gone before you to prepare. It’s going to take work, research, preparation. No one will hand you an easy path (I know you know this, I’m stating the obvious), but by following these suggestions you can find your first job and enjoy it, knowing you did your work and got the prize!
Hope this is helpful, bless you and we are praying over all of this with you….