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You may be skilled at some trade and be able to do it well, but jobs may be hard to come by. In fact, it's well documented that the want ads in your local newspaper only represent about 15% of available jobs. If you go to an employment agency, that number isn't much different.
Around 80% of positions that become available are never advertised, because they are filled before they need to be. So how do you find those jobs? You find them by building a network.
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The Benefits of Networking
Networking involves meeting people who work in the career that you want to get into. These are the people who know about the unadvertised positions available with a company. By getting to know them (as they get to know you) and then asking every so often if work is available, your chances of finding a job increase dramatically, for a few reasons.
For one, if you are the only person who knows about a job, and the potential employer knows you are qualified and persistent in asking about it, they may not even bother to advertise it, so you won't have to compete for the job with other applicants.
Also, your chances of getting a response from the company are better since they know you. When jobs are advertised in the paper, many times the employer asks applicants not to call. However, if a boss knows you and is expecting your call, he/she will be more willing to talk to you and discuss employment.
If you are interested in a particular field of work, start meeting people in that field. For example, if you want to get into a job writing for the local newspaper, call or go by their headquarters and introduce yourself. Ask to take someone who works there out to lunch and get to know them. Find out the best way to get involved in that career and stay in touch with that person. Ask if you may contact them periodically to learn if there is a position open with that company.
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The better you get to know someone, and the more persistent (not nagging) you are, the more likely they will let you know when something becomes available. Don't just pick one business or organization and network with them. Shop around and make contacts with several companies. One place may not have an opening, but the competitor down the street may be looking for someone.
Once you land the job, you know what to do next. Work hard, make a budget and save money, save money and save more money!
Learn how to develop your workplace skills more with books in Dave's library.