Saturday, February 21, 2015

50 Other Ways to Find Job Openings

50 Other Ways to Find a Job [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Don't rely just on online job ads!
Here are 50 other ways to find job openings.

How do you find job openings? If you are searching job sites only—such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, and Monster—you are leaving many possibilities for jobs on the table. Online job applications are often a black hole. Although people do get hired by applying for jobs online, consider using additional options for the best job search success.

The key is to let everyone you know about your job hunt. Yes, that's networking. And it doesn't have to be scary. Just ask people you know questions about what they do, where they work, and if they know people and places that may be hiring people like you. Also ask whether they can refer you to someone in organizations that are hiring. Not only may you hear of available jobs, you may also learn of jobs not yet publicized. In addition, be sure to read as much as you can. You may learn of opportunities with growing companies and organizations. And although it is challenging, contacting employers directly—especially small employers--can be an effective way to get job interviews.

So here is my list of 50 other people, places, and things—in addition to online job sites—to contact, consult, talk with, reach out to, network with, refer to, and study when job hunting. Don’t overlook any possibility. Make note of the options below that are part of your life and make sense for you:
  1. Potential employers of interest 
  2. Family 
  3. Friends 
  4. Neighbors 
  5. People in your community 
  6. Alumni groups 
  7. Career services at your school or college 
  8. Social groups 
  9. Clubs 
  10. Hobbies 
  11. Sports teams and involvements 
  12. Associations 
  13. Professional groups 
  14. Conferences and conventions 
  15. Seminars and workshops 
  16. Colleagues 
  17. Past employers 
  18. Classmates 
  19. Teachers 
  20. Former co-workers 
  21. Customers and clients 
  22. People at your place of worship 
  23. People you know through your children, such as teachers, coaches, scouts, day-care providers, and other parents 
  24. People you know through your spouse or significant other, such as their co-workers 
  25. People with whom you do volunteer work and community service 
  26. People you meet in daily life, such as while traveling, at a coffee house, at the dog park 
  27. People who provide services to you, such as your dentist, barista, handyman, accountant, mechanic, veterinarian, insurance agent, and hair stylist 
  28. People you meet at social events, including parties, picnics, weddings, and sporting events 
  29. People you’ve helped in the past 
  30. Recruiters 
  31. Employment agencies 
  32. Job fairs 
  33. Hiring events 
  34. American Job Center (see
  35. Business journals and newsletters 
  36. Business websites and blogs 
  37. Specialty publications for your field and related industries 
  38. Specialty job sites for your field and related industries 
  39. Companies and organizations running numerous help-wanted ads 
  40. Newspapers 
  41. LinkedIn 
  42. Facebook 
  43. Twitter 
  44. Google+ 
  45. Instagram (and all other social media) 
  46. Informational interviews 
  47. Freelancing 
  48. Internships 
  49. Part-time jobs 
  50. Consulting work 
Caveat: As always, use good judgment when meeting and talking to people you don’t know and avoid "opportunities" that seem too good to be true; involve spending money for the opportunity; seem like they are scams; are coming from foreign countries; contain numerous misspellings; ask for a bank account number, credit card number, password, social security number, or other sensitive information; ask you to cash checks or send money somewhere; or will put you in a dicey or dangerous situation. Always meet people you don’t know in a business or public setting during the day. Trust your gut! And don't forget to follow up and thank people who help you in your job hunt.

Remember, anywhere there are people, there are jobs. In what other ways have you found jobs? Please share!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

35 Ways to Learn and Hone a New Skill

35 Ways to Learn New Skills [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
You can learn skills online through free MOOCs.

Skills help you get, keep, and advance in a job. Skills can also be used for fun, for personal fulfillment, and as hobbies. But how can you learn new skills? I’ll give you 35 ideas in this Shy Job Seeker blog post.

Of course taking classes in person or online is a common way to learn and probably the way you thought of first. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), such as those through Coursera, offer free classes from top universities. I’ve taken three Coursera classes and learned a great deal. Just because the classes are free doesn’t mean they are easy. Be ready to put the time into the classes and do the homework.

Creating a Skill Development Plan

Before I go on, I want to talk about creating a skill development plan. Although you can learn without a plan, figuring out your action steps will put you on a clear path.
  1. First, decide a skill that you’d like to learn. To discover the skills that are important to a job, see the U. S. Department of Labor's Skills Profiler. Also consider learning or honing a skill that will help you in many jobs, such as writing, resolving conflict, or using computers.
  2. Next, be specific about how you will learn the skill, including how often you will practice it. 
  3. Third, give yourself a deadline for learning the skill and figure out how to find the time to meet the deadline. Although you will want to continue learning beyond the deadline, a deadline will give you focus and accountability to yourself.

Suppose, for example, you want to learn about negotiation. Here's a sample plan: Take Coursera’s free 8 ½-hour online class on Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills by the University of Michigan. Also add time to view YouTube videos on negotiation techniques. More than 250,000 results come up for negotiation! Then search TED Talks on negotiation, and you will find more options for viewing. Don’t forget to include reading books and magazines. Go to your library or look for e-publications on negotiation; as you can imagine, there are many. Search for blogs and podcasts on negotiation topics and make them part of your learning plan. Also try to identify the leaders on negotiation topics and follow their careers and their social media. 

Then put your learning to use, because real-world experience will teach you so much more. Perhaps a local community group is trying to get bike trails built, or a local animal shelter needs to negotiate for more funding. Volunteer your services as a negotiator. Or maybe you can help with negotiation or contracts on a project in your current job. After your eyes are opened to the possibilities for learning, you will see more and more options. As you progress in learning about negotiation, at some point, perhaps rather quickly, you will begin to get it. You will feel you know more than most people about the topic. And you will feel comfortable adding it to your resume.

Learning a New Skill 35 Ways

Here are my 35 ideas on how to learn and develop skills. Some of these suggestions will be more appropriate for the skill you want to learn than others. Use any of the following ideas in your skill-development plan, or come up with your own ideas based on the skill and what it will take to learn it.
  1. Take classes, in person and online.
  2. Research everything you can about the skill.
  3. Use your local public library and talk to the librarian about ways to learn your skill.
  4. Practice the skill as much as you can.
  5. Ask someone who has the skill for tips on learning and using it.
  6. Ask a local American Job Center about the free training and workshops they offer. You may be eligible for career training paid for by Uncle Sam.
  7. Follow the skill and people who know about it on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  8. Watch YouTube.
  9. Watch TED Talks.
  10. Listen to podcasts.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Read blogs and websites.
  13. Read books.
  14. Read magazines and newspapers.
  15. Write about the skill, perhaps in a blog.
  16. Take webinars.
  17. Use tutorials in books and online.
  18. Get a tutor.
  19. Find a mentor.
  20. Freelance.
  21. Be an intern.
  22. Participate in a club, group, or meetup focused on the skill (such as Toastmasters for public speaking).
  23. Go on informational interviews.
  24. Attend conferences, forums, workshops, and seminars.
  25. Look for opportunities in your community to learn and use the skill, including local groups, activities, events, and centers; nonprofits; schools; parks; and places of worship.
  26. Take tours.
  27. Work part-time.
  28. Build and make things.
  29. Help someone.
  30. Find a friend to meet with regularly on the skill.
  31. Network with people who can answer questions or provide guidance about the skill.
  32. Travel.
  33. Give demonstrations of your skill.
  34. Join an association.
  35. Talk with your family about your skill to get their help, ideas, and support.
What other ways can you learn and fine-tune skills? Please share your ideas. Let me know if you have decided to learn a new skill because of this post!