Hidden Work Opportunities
How frustrating and tiring to spend hours online searching for work. How depressing when you submit resumes and fill-out applications with no response. Your hopes disappear into a virtual black hole. There are two problems:
1. More seekers than jobs
2. Most opportunities for work are “hidden” – not listed in public
The good news is that “hidden” opportunities can be found where there are fewer job seekers seeking. You can beat the odds by practicing four basic principles.
Think ME Inc.
As you are searching, consider yourself a one-person corporation owned by God. He made you with a unique blend of experiences, abilities, talents, skills and knowledge that you can offer as services for hire. Instead of applying for jobs, seek to serve people and meet their needs.
Seek people who need most what you do and like best. Maybe you can help a company Controller who wants payroll handled more efficiently and accurately. Perhaps a VP of Sales is looking to increase sales in a key market – possibly a small business owner who needs administrative support.
No matter who you seek and what they want, identify their needs and propose solutions. Figure out what they want accomplished, and recommend how they can get the results they want. Be open as to whether they hire you as an employee, independent contractor or a business owner providing a service. Also be open as to your compensation. Even when there is no money to be to be paid, more than a few people have worked and bartered for food, clothing and shelter.
Think ME Inc. – owned by God. See employers as customers. Serve customers as potential employers. Know that God is your provider.
Combine 3 Ways to Find Work
Search online 15-50% of your time. Use keywords and locations in job search engines and boards to find jobs and places hiring. To find key contacts in target employer or customer organizations, use networking sites – such as www.LinkedIN.com, www.Facebook.com and www.Twitter.com. To conduct research on industries, occupations, organizations or even people, we recommend www.Google.com.
Network on-the-ground for personal referrals 50-85% of your time. Most employers and customers first try to find people for work through their personal contacts before they list it publically. Of all the jobs that get filled, 85% are part of this “hidden job market.” Another amazing statistic comes from a study demonstrating that applicants who were personally referred were 42 times more likely to be selected. That is a 4,200% better chance! A personal referral means you are “known” and considered “good” by association with the person whom the employer or customer knows.
All-the-time praying. Dial 1-800-Dear-God. You can call by prayer the one Person who knows everyone everywhere all the time. Ask Him every day and, if you can, before every meeting, phone call, email and click on the web. He knows the plans He has for you. He knows where all the work opportunities are.
Combine all three ways to find work: online job search and on-the-ground networking with a spiritual posture in which you. “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything, give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17.
Be Better Together
Looking for work is best played as a team sport. Make friends along with way. Help them with their prospecting. Meet as a small group at a regular time and place weekly for help, planning, brainstorming, encouragement, accountability, prayer and celebrating progress.
Finding opportunities is always better with buddies. It is like mountain climbing. Rather than climb alone, be tied to others. You get the combined wisdom and strength from people who care. When you slip, they can help pull you back up. Be better together with buddies!
Use Both Eyes
You have two eyes for a reason. One eye is for looking as you have planned. The other is for seeing as the Lord directs your steps, which may or may not be as you planned. Consider this wise saying from the Scripture: “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.
Therefore, be a good steward with whatever or whoever God places in your path. Do not worry about what He does not give you. You have no stewardship responsibility for things you do not have. Just take the next step you are given.
Put another way, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient (hidden or concealed) paths … ask for the good way and walk in it …” Jeremiah 6:16.