The majority of people looking into a job change or career move scour the classified advertisements all the while complaining that there are so few meaningful opportunities.
Although today's technology makes it easy to scan hundreds of leading newspapers and publications, tens of thousands of job openings, and more, still relatively few meaningful opportunities are uncovered.
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The reason, according to industry pundits, is that most of the better positions are never advertised – they're not "vacancies" needing to be filled. Depending on the level of the opportunity, anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of them go unadvertised. So what's the answer? It could be as simple as making some new friends; Visionary, huh?
Within everyone you meet, you are likely to discover a far more helpful and interesting person than you first thought, whose nature it is to want to help others; they just don't always know-how. All it takes is a little bit of encouragement and some direction. In other words, tell others how to help and they will.
Easier said than done? Unfortunately, yes. Most of us have never been trained in this sort of work. Even the most senior managers are novice job searchers and can become discouraged. Still, you can make job searching less complicated and career management more of a reality.
Begin replacing some of the hours spent scanning the classifieds with time spent investigating fields of interest for "clues" to where the jobs are–movement in the market, events that may provide some hint of where jobs are developing.
Next, take the information you collect and begin having meaningful face-to-face discussions with those you know and trust leading to discussions with those you don't yet know. In these discussions, you may uncover yet more clues to where the jobs may be hatching and perhaps get to them before the crowd does.
Any activity created by movement in business, industry segments, or entire markets is the clue you want to uncover. Such "movement'" may be a merger or acquisition or divestiture, an IPO, or a Board-level management change. It may be a leadership vacuum or a company expanding, new markets emerging, businesses re-emerging or new products being introduced.
For example, if there's a new 'wonder drug' under development somewhere, get in there and talk to someone before they announce its release; and while everyone else is waiting for the help-wanted sign to go up, you're negotiating your next job. In theory, you'll find more opportunities to make new friends than looking at jobs. Here are some practical suggestions:
· Begin every conversation, actual or virtual, with this maxim in mind: People buy your questions not your answers.
· Get ready. The question, 'what are you looking to do' can befuddle the unsuspecting person forcing a response that is weak, irrelevant, or worse, fatal.