For job candidates looking to grow their careers, it’s time to think outside the box. The majority of today’s online job postings are not innately designed as the jobs we actually want. Hiring managers craft a cookie-cutter job description in the hopes that someone can handle a few day-to-day tasks. We have to get more creative to land that dream job. Let’s look at a few ways we can do this.
The #1 way to actually land a job that never existed on a job board is to interview people in your desired career fields. These are the people who you can learn from. They will help you determine where you can fit into this world. I’ve talked with countless people who have landed jobs, just because they were interested in learning more about a company. The key here is to not expect a job out of the conversation. Come up with a list of ten questions related to their job, and finish off by asking the interviewee if there is anyone else you should talk to. People love talking about themselves, and they may naturally point you to a hiring manager. A personal recommendation is much more powerful than the hundredth job application. Of course, if you take this road of interviewing people, make sure you never, ever ask for anything in return. That will automatically turn people away from you. Do this for your genuine learning and growth. You will get what you deserve in the end.
Connecting two people.
Instead of focusing on your career, see how you can connect two people together. Maybe you know of someone who needs a job or customer, and you know someone else who can fill that need. You will be well-respected for initiating the introductions, and both of these people will more than likely try to help you or return the favour down the road. You can initiate introductions by email, text, LinkedIn…any platform, really, as long as you get permission from both parties before making the connection. A good way to do this is by simply saying you know someone who might be interested in XYZ, would you like me to connect you both? Connecting two people will boost your reputation and trust among others, and this bodes well for your long-term career.
Helping for free.
Helping others for free will give you tremendous leverage in the long-term. Find the hiring manager of a company and message them directly, either by email or LinkedIn. Offer any help you can, related to the job they are filling. I know a designer who offered a whole design concept to a major company, for free. Several weeks later, that company offered the designer a full-time job, just for being genuinely helpful without expectation. These little contributions, although done for free at the beginning, will garner you significant respect. You are essentially guilting people (unintentionally) into doing something for you later on.
If you do not like what is out there on the job market, it is time to invent the job of your dreams. Enter entrepreneurship. What do you like doing? What activities help pass the time for you? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Who can you help? Finding the problems of the world and designing a solution to them is one way to start. But will you be passionate about someone else’s problems? How about looking at your life and seeing what problems can be solved. Maybe you are frustrated with the job market and wish there was an easier way to find dream jobs. As a solution, you could build a website related to career resources and tools to find it. When it comes to entrepreneurship, the best way to think about an idea is to make something that aligns with your passion, skill and the needs of the market.
The job market will be disrupted by artificial intelligence and automation. One way to stand out is to look at how you can automate jobs with systems you build. This is similar to the entrepreneurship route, but you can also do this in a job you currently have, especially with a mundane, repetitive one. Email marketing is something I’ve been involved in automating for a number of companies, and I even automated an entire full-time job once! Simple administrative tasks could perhaps be handled on autopilot too. What this does for you is it shows your initiative in taking on new projects and helping a company grow. If you automate your entire job, that’s okay! A new opportunity will open up in the company, and you will be first in line.
What are you waiting for?! It’s time to see what kind of dream job you can come up with for yourself. There are only 24 hours in a day, and the world deserves your best self. One trick that helped me is to make a spreadsheet with five columns, labelled “Job Title”, “Passion”, “Skill”, “Market Need”, “Total”. Take time to come up with all of the job titles you would be interested in and write them in column 1. List anything that comes to mind. Then rank each job title out of 10 in terms of passion, skill and market need in the next three columns. Total each row for the fifth column. See which job title is ranked as the highest, according to your ratings! That might be your dream job to pursue.