Finding or Creating your own job or work is a full-time project that requires you to be strategic for you to be successful. This Tip Sheet provides 6 detailed tips and resources to support you with organizing your self during a job search as well as a checklist of 4 sources of jobs/work offline, online, through people and what you can catalyse through paid and unpaid experience.
TIP 1 – Have a Job Search Strategy or Plan that is informed by your long-term Career Plan
- Know Yourself – your Job Search Strategy should have a section that reflects self-awareness. For example – values, interests, life purpose and personality are some aspects to state as guiding frames for your job search decisions.
- Know Your Market – Include a section containing information from your Career Research
- Map Sources of Jobs or Work organized in 4 clusters – offline, online, people and opportunities from paid and unpaid work experiences.
- Have a Job Search Strategy that lists your goals, actions, milestones, review periods and rewards to motivate yourself.
- Set up an Accountability and Support Team that you check in with regularly.
TIP 2 – Project Manage implementation of your Job Search Strategy or Plan with support
- Take a project management approach and plan your search in 90-60-30-day cycles or sprints to make the search manageable and focused.
- Plan daily and weekly actions that you track to keep you on course.
- Have a simple tracking system online or using a diary/notebook to keep an eye on all your actions, the results, what still needs to be done and lessons learnt.
- Keep a Lessons Learnt Log because this is critical intelligence from your experience that you can use to inform your other job search planning cycles or share with other people.
TIP 3 – Map and use Job Search Offline spaces where employers post available jobs or vacancies
- Newspapers – depending on your location map what is available in neighbourhood, local, national, global print newspapers.
- Newsletters / Flyers – these are available in print in some locations and contain vacancies.
- Job Noticeboards – usually on the Notices Board of some community centres; shops; schools; churches etc you can find job postings.
- Recruitment and Employment agencies – these are found in every country and some are local, but many are international franchises. Even though some may exist only online, many have physical offices that you can go to and speak to a Recruitment Agent.
- Job Fairs and Career Fairs – these are great as they are set up specifically for employers looking to hire and job seekers looking to be hired.
- Conferences and Industry Events – events of this nature at local, national and international level are a great opportunity to enquire about vacancies, connect with people who can link you to opportunities and some events have a Jobs Space.
- Current workplace – this is an internal source of job listings, even if they are also advertised externally, there are many that are only advertised internally. Check out the noticeboard, e-mail announcements, company website and newsletters.
- Colleges; Universities; Training institutions – you can go to specific departments’ noticeboards and staff to get information about openings available or upcoming.
- Job Centres – vacancy listings and career services can be found here. This is available in most advanced countries and resourced by government.
Example: the province of British Columbia in Canada has got 130 English service Job Centres. https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/WorkBC-Centres-Listing.aspx
TIP 4 – Map and use Job Search Online spaces – subscribe to get weekly job alert bulletins or news
- Social media pages and groups – Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn
Example: Jobs on Facebook is a dedicated space for advertising jobs or searching opportunities. https://www.facebook.com/jobs/?source=bookmark
MyJobo.Com, as Malawi jobs site that is on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Myjobo/
Example: here is a great article on using Twitter to find jobs – https://biginterview.com/blog/2015/03/twitter-jobs.html
- Job search websites – these can be general and sector specific, as well as local, regional and global in coverage.
Example: for links to job to sites with vacancy listings there is The Riley Guide. This is a directory of online employment and career sources and resume services and is very good for job hunting. The focus is on the United States, but the site contains a lot of links to international jobs. https://www.myperfectresume.com/how-to/career-resources/jobs
Example: for non-profit or charity jobs in the UK, there is –
Elevator – The Good Job Network – http://elevatorcafe.com/
Third Sector Jobs – https://jobs.thirdsector.co.uk/
Example: for international non-profit or NGO jobs, consultancies and short assignments – Devex also provides career services and facilitates career webinars on careers in the sector – https://www.devex.com/jobs/search?sorting%5Border%5D=desc&sorting%5Bfield%5D=_score
DevNet Jobs provides a regular newsletter that you can subscribe to and provides job listings and consultancy opportunities on their website in addition to some career advice services. They also have a social media presence e.g. a page on Facebook. http://www.devnetjobs.org/
- Government institution websites
Example: Gauteng Provincial Government has its own online job centre, which they state: “The GPG professional job Centre seeks to meet the Gauteng Provincial Government strategic priorities of creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth and ensuring an efficient, effective and development oriented public service.” http://professionaljobcentre.gpg.gov.za/
- Colleges; Universities; Training institutions – most institutions have vacancies websites.
Example: University of Zambia posted 2019 First Quarter Job Opportunities in a PDF on their website. https://www.unza.zm/staff/vacancies/2017-12/vacancies
- Company / Organisation websites and newsletters – here you will have to identify the companies or organisations you want to target, make a list of their websites and subscribe to get alerts if possible, and also follow them on all social media platforms.
- Professional Associations – most associations have websites and newsletters with vacancy bulletins/listings that they update regularly. Sometimes you need to pay to join some associations to get curated content and openings.
- Newspapers online – neighbourhood, local, national, global newspapers are now easy for people to access via websites, e-mail subscriptions and also social media postings.
- Technology enabled work – this is covering the gig economy and also the shared, collaborative and on-demand digital economy, which has become more mainstream in recent years. This is utilized by job seekers, freelance workers, portfolio careerlists, entrepreneurs and even those in full-time employment.
TIP 5 – Map and use Job Search People and Network Opportunities
Your people network is the key to unlocking the hidden job market… as they provide “jobs intelligence” or they are your “opportunities connector”. Examples in this section are person and context-specific.
- Social Network – family, friends and social groups – during a job search anyone in your social network is a potential lead. The way you approach them should however be professional. Share your career plan, your job search strategy goals and be specific in your ask/s.
- Professional network – these are people you go to for professional support, collaboration, knowledge and intelligence sharing. They also can help connect you with opportunities you may not know about.
- Alumni Association – if your association is vibrant this is a great cross-functional space for not only getting leads, but also for getting “boundary spanner” and “connector” network members to expand your own network. Utilise informational interviews to tap into the wisdom in your network.
- Professional Associations – most professions have associations the set standards, connect professionals and provide networking and learning opportunities. They also circulate industry trends and job vacancies bulletins.
- Recruiters – headhunters are always on the lookout for good talent, so they go after it. However, you can also make yourself attractive for headhunters, especially if you have a good and rich LinkedIn profile and social media engagement.
TIP 6 – Map and use Job Search Opportunities from Paid and Unpaid Experiences
You are also a key to finding a job or work through opportunities to position yourself or to create employment for yourself. Below are several options that can help unlock some doors.
- Your online profile and footprint – this is one area that is helpful as part of preparing the ground for your job search. Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV so it is important to have one and keep it updated. Other options include blogging to present yourself as a thought leader, plus have a personal website and/or digital career portfolio.
- Self-employed – entrepreneurship is a viable option if you set up well, develop required competence and also have a supportive business environment.
- Student – continuous and professional education is a good way to be equipped and ready with the right skills and knowledge for available job opportunities in the market – locally and globally.
- Volunteering, Internship or Apprenticeship – all these are ways to gain experience, to have “a foot in the door when opportunities arise” and to acquire skills.
In conclusion – as you can see, there are more that 25 ways mapped here of ways and spaces you can search for jobs. What is important to remember is the guidance provided in Tips 1 and 2 about being strategic, having a plan and working with an Accountability and Support team.
Want to hear more! You can find a recording of a webinar I did on my Facebook Page. http://www.facebook.com/EnnieCareerCoach/
Individuals: If you need support on how to utilise this career information for career planning, job search, career progression or CV/resume review, whether currently employed or not, get in touch using the e-mail address provided. Also share and follow this work .
Written by: Ennie Chipembere Chikwema, Career Coach and Learning Expert
LinkedIn Profile: https://za.linkedin.com/in/ennie-chipembere-chikwema-81a30910a
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EnnieLifeCoach/
Date published: 21 June 2019