In a blog focused on personal finances, the problem of generating income is fundamental. If like me, you weren’t born with a millionaire bank account, you’re going to have to do what we all do: hire yourself.
We trade our valuable time against a salary. But finding a good job is not so obvious. We all want to get paid well, do interesting things and be in a healthy work environment. How to look for work then? Very easy: following those recommendations that I have prepared especially for you.
#1. Choose if you want to be an employee or an entrepreneur
There are two ways to work and earn money. Work for others (the most used option) or work for yourself. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Having a salaried job gives you more stability (with a similar salary every month and relative job security), but it limits you from the point of view of income (to earn a lot you have to rise a lot in the business hierarchy).
- On the contrary, entrepreneurship is riskier (it is very difficult to get benefits, and the income from one month to the next can vary very abruptly), but if it goes well you can have quite high income with a small or medium business, and in many cases, you can work from home.
In this blog, we have sometimes proposed some business ideas, but by editorial decision, the page is more focused on savings, work, income, and investment, so if you are interested in setting up your business we advise you to visit a specialized blog to entrepreneurs.
#2. Do you want to change only for money?
When you are looking for a job, you can do it because you don’t have it or because you don’t like the one you have. In this case, you must ask yourself what is the true motivation that pushes you to think about change.
If you don’t like the work environment or what you do and you can’t help it, it may be a good reason, but if the only thing you don’t like is not being paid enough, then maybe what you need is not a job change, but ask that your salary be increased. At the very least, if money is your main motivation, don’t leave your current job without trying to negotiate.
#3. Take stock of your skills
Two things are very important when looking for a job: define what you know how to do and know what you want to do. It will not surprise you that you will have many more options for success in a selection process if your knowledge and skills correspond to the position you want.
To work on these two fundamental aspects there is a tool known as the balance of competencies. This balance can be done on your own or advised by a human resources professional (the latter is recommended).
In short, it is about analyzing your past experiences(studies, jobs, acquired techniques) and defining a professional project appropriate to them (and that you like).
#4. Analyze the labor market
It is very good to define what you want to do and adjust it to your skills, but it is useless if there are no realistic options to find a job. By this, I do not mean to give up on your dreams. If there is a job that motivates you enormously, see to it with all your efforts, no matter how small your possibility.
But if you are part of the majority of people who do not have a dream job, but mere preferences, then you have to make sure that you are preparing for a job with real options. If this is not the case, look for a plan B. It is useless to invest time and money for a path with little chance of exit.
Even during the crisis, some positions were difficult to fill, due to a lack of trained professionals. I think in the case of computing, but there are more examples. The labor market is extremely varied, and it is evolving, so to learn how to look for work, you have to learn to study the demand.
#5. Train to improve your profile
One of the most interesting results of the balance of competencies is that it allows you to see the weaknesses in your professional project. I am referring to those loopholes that can hinder you when looking for work.
They can be knowledge (languages, computer science, techniques), professional experiences, skills (leadership, communication), defects (propensity to anger, shyness), or anything else relevant to a job.
A large part of these weak points can be corrected thanks to training. You can learn a language or use a computer system, take personal development courses, learn to communicate better, take theater classes to lose your fear of public speaking, the list is very long. Getting practical experience is somewhat more delicate but it is not impossible either if you are willing to go through a transitional phase, for example in a less qualified job than the one you aspire to have or even with scholarships or internships.
#6. Search job offers
- You have three main types of job boards: general private (to which the two already mentioned belong, the general public (public employment services), and private specialized in sectors (health, tourism, finance, executives, etc.)
Down the street
Depending on the type of job you are looking for, browsing the Internet may not be the best solution. For low-skilled jobs, especially in commerce and services, companies often don’t post ads, just put a notice in the window.
If you have a very specific job, it may also be worth going to visit the places that may need it. For example, a specialist doctor can go to all the hospitals in a region to leave his or her CV in person with the head of the department. It works.
The great advantage of direct contact is to make a much better impression on people and to stand out from all the resumes that the employer may have received. Even if there is no work at the moment, it is a small advantage in case there is a need later. The person in charge may remember us and that for some reason we have caused them a special grace.
#7. Contact networks
In real life
It is a fact that many jobs are obtained more through contacts than through a selection process. It is not something very positive or very equitable, but it is a reality that must be taken into account.
Being aware of this is important because it allows a person who does not have a job to inform their contact circles of their situation and what they are looking for. In this way, you can get job interviews thanks to notices and recommendations from former colleagues or old friends. It is something very difficult to measure but it can give results.
Specialized social networks
- In the digital world, contact networks are called social networks, and one of the most important is focused on professional relationships, it is called LinkedIn and with its help, you can get some advantages. For example, if you apply for a job on that social network, the person who hires will not only have access to the data of your profile, but you may have contacts in common (directly or via different degrees of separation). If those contacts know you and recommend you, you may have a better chance of landing the position.
#8. Temporary work companies
Another interesting way to look for work is through temporary work agencies. These companies have their employment databases, mainly (but not exclusively) for defined-term contracts. On many occasions, a temporary job can allow you to get a foot in the company, and if the bosses are satisfied with your results, you could stay for the long term.
#9. Prepare the curriculum
- The resume as it was fifteen years ago is no longer valid today. You should no longer speak of the curriculum in the singular, for two reasons. On the one hand, many companies (among which the employment pages) force you to fill in their own CV format, and on the other, you will have many more possibilities if you adapt your CV to each job offer (highlighting one or another relevant aspect according to the case).
We also have an article about the motivation letter (also called a cover letter) that usually accompanies the resume, and that today is often done in the body of the email message:
#10. The job interview
If you wonder how to look for a job, surely your most visible goal is to get a job interview. If you are asked to meet in person, you will have done a great part of the way, but you will still be missing something very important: convincing your interlocutors that you are the most suitable person for the job.
#11. The final negotiation
If they offer you the position because you have been the person they liked the most, congratulations. Now you have one last negotiation. Do not rush to answer, no matter how much rush you get from the company.
Think about it very well and do not hesitate to try to negotiate some aspects, in particular the salary. If they have bet on you, they are not going to back down just because you ask to raise the conditions a bit.
Remember that the moment of hiring is the best time to get a better salary. Then you enter the normal process of the company, and no matter how well you do it, you will often depend on rules about increases, agreements, decisions of the bosses, the budget allocated to increases, and it will be much more difficult to progress.