How do you find a job when you need one?
In the old days, people had to leap out of bed with the sun so they could grab a newspaper before all the other job seekers got hold of it! It was a daily race to be the first to inquire about the advertised listings. This was followed by ‘pounding the pavement’: going from shop to shop, office to office, making inquiries about work in person.
Today, the internet has made the job search process nearly unrecognizable. From the comfort of our homes, we can browse listings, post resumes so that hiring employers will see them, set up ‘alerts’ so that jobs matching our criteria sail into our inboxes all by themselves, and network with friends and acquaintances using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any one of dozens of other sites and technologies. (No doubt our smartphones “have an app for that”!)
If you are like most people, you might log on to Workopolis or Monster Canada, or Kijiji Canada, or Craigslist Canada, or Eluta, or Job Bank, or Vicinity Jobs, or Charity Village, or Work in Culture, or if you are creative and unusual, you might just go to Google.ca and type in “Toronto food service jobs” in the search box …are you sensing a pattern here?
The widespread availability of technology has made the job search easier than ever!!
Or maybe not… experts like Dr. Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, and Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, and the Job Hunters’ Bible website, tell us that fewer than 5% of job seekers are ultimately hired as the result of applying to advertised jobs – including internet AND newspaper ads – and that all the advertised jobs together represent no more than 15-20% of all the available jobs at any given time.
That other 75-80% of jobs are to be found in what is often called ‘the hidden job market’. Most job-search manuals, strategy guides, and employment services focus on finding ways to navigate this market. (Try Googling “penetrate hidden job market” and see what comes up!) The bottom line of all such advice is basically this: If you wish to find a decent job, in a reasonable amount of time, then applying to advertised jobs IS NOT ENOUGH. Even ‘networking’, that Philospher’s Stone of the job hunt, so often touted as ‘the key to the hidden job market’, is NOT ENOUGH.
You need to understand the labour market, insofar as it pertains uniquely to YOU. This requires that you conduct your own research into the labour market, and your potential place(s) within it. It isn’t as hard as it sounds! Stay tuned for my next “Radical Thoughts” installment on Labour Market Research.