11 Ways to Crack the Hidden Job Market

You can shorten your job hunt by knowing how to use methods other applicants usually miss. After all, if you’re relying on want ads alone, you could spend a long time searching. Advertised positions represent as little as 20% of total vacancies, and your resume often winds up in a pile with hundreds of other hopefuls.

On the other hand, the hidden job market has a larger number of opportunities, and less competition. Learn how to position yourself to take advantage of openings that haven’t been advertised.

Benefits of Cracking the Hidden Job Market

  1. Achieve a closer fit. When you’re targeting companies you want to work for, you’re more likely to find a workplace where you’ll feel at home. That sense of belonging will add to your job satisfaction.
  2. Weigh in early. How would you like to write your job description? Contacting potential employers early in the process may allow you to shape your position to suit your strengths.
  3. Receive more offers. The average corporate job opening that’s advertised attracts up to 250 resumes. Your odds of being welcomed onboard increase when there are fewer candidates under consideration.

 

Cracking the Hidden Job Market with Networking

  1. Go online. LinkedIn and other technology make it easy to research and contact companies that interest you. Be sure to keep your profile updated because hiring managers may be looking for you too.
  2. Reach out to recruiters. Many positions are filled through employment agencies. Call up a recruiter to schedule a consultation and stay in touch so you can hear about future developments.
  3. Volunteer your services. Use your skills to support a worthy cause. You can make new contacts and impress them with your expertise at organizing events or tracking finances.
  4. Join a job club. Your fellow job hunters often have valuable leads. Start a club or find one through community listings or your local library.
  5. Attend events. Conferences and networking sessions can help you touch base with lots of contacts in a short time. See what’s on the calendar at your professional association or read industry publications.
  6. Contact alumni. Mine your college alumni group for information and referrals. Some companies have similar resources for former employees or you can approach them on your own.
  7. Seek referrals. Ask your contacts who else they would suggest for you to talk with. That way you can create a pipeline of information interviews and coffee dates.
  8. Focus on giving. Remember that networking is more about giving than taking. Offer to help others before you ask for something for yourself.

 

Cracking the Hidden Job Market by Becoming an Insider

  1. Complete an internship. If you excel at your summer position, you may have a shot at joining the staff. Pick a company with a track record for hiring interns and ask your supervisor for feedback to help you learn and grow.
  2. Consider temporary positions. Even if you’re looking for a permanent position, it may be worthwhile to accept temporary jobs, especially if you’re currently unemployed. That way you may be able to view internal listings on the company website, as well as network with employees who could have a say in hiring you.
  3. Do contract work. Contract assignments are another way to showcase your abilities at any stage in your career. Exceed expectations and let the company know what kind of opportunities you’re looking for.

Companies often bypass advertising to save money and target candidates who are more likely to match their needs. By tapping into the hidden employment market, you can impress hiring managers and find your dream job.

The Differences Between Those That Succeed and Those That Fail

Success is a fascinating thing. There are good people with every possible advantage that struggle with success and life in general. It’s also easy to find people with no education, a poor attitude, and a lack of morality that seem to thrive. Both groups of people want to get ahead, but only one is successful. Why is that?

Successful people, regardless of their advantages or disadvantages, have one thing in common: they consistently work at their goals.

It’s necessary to do everything you can to be successful and take that attitude into the marketplace. You must be willing to compete, whether it be for a job or to see your business become successful.

Add these behaviors to your life and create more success:

1. Make use of what you have. This includes your capabilities, time, and other resources. There’s no reason to wait until you learn something new, save a certain amount of money, or make the right contacts. You can do those things on the side, but the bulk of your time should be spent on doing everything you can with what you currently possess.

2. Read books that enable you to spend your time more productively. By learning more, you can correct your mistakes and use your time more wisely. The right book can teach you more discipline or how to better interact with others.

• Books give you access to the very best minds in the world, past and present. Every book you read can improve you in some way and enhance the way you spend your time.

3. Commit to being your best. Most of us are either too lazy or too afraid to bring our best to each day. Discipline and courage are required if you want to consistently be successful at a high level.

4. Make plans. Dreams are nice, but they’re just a starting point. You must convert your dreams into concrete plans, and then put everything you have into executing those plans.

• Building a life without a good plan is like trying to build a home without a good plan. Eventually you run into trouble and must use make-shift solutions just to keep it from falling apart.

5. Plan your day, but not all of it. Ensure that you can hit the ground running, but leave yourself enough wiggle room to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves along the way.

• The same goes for your week, month, and year. Have a good, solid outline for your time for at least the next year.

6. View problems as challenges to be solved. Becoming successful requires dealing with a nearly endless stream of obstacles. View these obstacles as challenges that make you stronger, smarter, and more capable to handle the next challenge. The bigger the challenge you’re able to solve, the more successful you will become.

7. Avoid distractions. Spend your time on the most important activities. If learning to play piano is a priority for you, spending time perfecting your photography skills, playing the guitar, and learning to oil paint ensures that you’ll never become the best pianist you can be.

It’s easy to look around and see that the universe isn’t judging “good” people and “bad” people when it comes to success. You know plenty of awful people that are doing well, and plenty of wonderful people that are struggling.

You must have a plan and put it into action each day. That is the ultimate determiner of success. Make a plan for your life today and live the life you want.

7 Steps to Repairing Professional Relationships

Work relationships can be much more fragile than other types of relationships. The workplace can be a constant battle of egos, jockeying for positions, and the desire to advance. Small slights that might be ignored in other settings can ruffle someone’s feathers at work.

These slights are often unintentional. In fact, it’s common to be at a loss for the reason behind the downslide in the relationship. At work, many people remain on the lookout for any sign that someone is either on our side or against us.

Repair your workplace relationships in a mature and professional manner:

1. Attempt to identify the issue. Before addressing your coworker, spend some time attempting to identify the source of the problem. This can be challenging.

The origin of the friction can be very subtle and difficult to identify. Your best clue can be the first time you noticed something was wrong. The incident likely started then or soon before. Ask a trusted coworker for their opinion. Odds are that someone else knows the other person’s perspective on the disagreement.

2. Schedule a meeting. Set up a time to meet with the other party. Avoid disclosing the specific reason. Also, be sure not to schedule the meeting too far in advance. Ideally, you could ask to meet in just a couple of hours. Giving the other person too much time to think and prepare isn’t best.

3. State your purpose. Now that you’re face to face, tell them what you want. You might state that you’d like to work toward the best possible relationship in the future. If you’re confused about the reason for the rift, state that, too.

4. Address the current state of the relationship. Describe how you see the current state of affairs. Avoid the urge to blame or judge. Just call it as you see it. It would be worthwhile to have this part of the conversation prepared ahead of time. Address your own shortcomings in the relationship as well.

5. Be quiet. Prepare to get an earful. You called the meeting and stated your perspective. You know that the other person is already annoyed with you. Expect the response to be harsh.

6. Seek to understand. Restate what you just heard to ensure that you understand clearly. Ask questions if necessary. You may have the urge to retaliate after what you just heard. Suppress that impulse. You can make a bad situation even worse.

7. Solve the issue together. Now that you both have your cards on the table, agree on the type of relationship you’d both like to have. Find a solution together that will get you there. The relationship might still be fragile, but it’s on the way to improvement. The possibility to ultimately have a better working relationship than ever now exists.

What if you address the issue and the other party claims that everything is fine? Avoid disagreeing. Tell them that you must be mistaken and look forward to everything returning to normal. Ask them to have lunch with you tomorrow. Hopefully, that will resolve the challenge.

Workplace relationships are especially sensitive and fragile. Many people seek validation at work, so any indication of being snubbed, ignored, or insulted is magnified. Addressing the issue directly will often alleviate the challenge quickly, as many disagreements at work are only misunderstandings.

Avoid allowing the situation to fester. Consider what caused the rift and schedule a meeting. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner both of you can move on and mend your relationship

Overcoming Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are often a whirlwind of activity and emotion involving a busy schedule of shopping, school programs and get-togethers with friends and family. If you experience an emotional disappointment when the holidays pass, there are many things you can do to lift your mood and make it through the emotional let-down after the holidays.

These strategies will boost your spirits and get your New Year off to a great start:

  1. Take advantage of the extra time you now have for yourself. Since the holiday hullabaloo is over, you have some time to reflect. What do you like about your life? What would you like to change?
  2. Think about small goals you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to finally get that hall closet cleaned out? Maybe you can now complete that special project your boss has wanted you to do.
    • It’s a good time to make a list of all those little tasks you want to get done. Having the list will help you concentrate on your goals. Plus, it’s wonderful to draw a line through an achieved goal.
  3. Focus on you for a change. Now is the time to hone in on personal desires and goals. Perhaps you want to exercise more or spend more quality time with your children. Ponder how you might go about making the changes you seek. Think of taking little steps toward your big goals.
  4. Pursue an interest. We’ve all got those interests we hope to “get to” someday. Since you’ve got some down time now, why not go for it? Delve in to that subject you’ve been curious about or start the photography class you’ve longed to take.
    • If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, do some research. Visit your local library, browse some magazines or look in the newspaper. You’ll most likely find a couple of topics or activities you’d like to learn more about.
  5. Have a dinner party. You’ll have plenty of time to plan and prepare for this event with people you really care about. You’ll enjoy yourself and your mood will lift.
  6. Renew and refresh your surroundings. Do you feel like re-arranging the furniture in a room or two? Maybe you want to paint the walls or make new curtains. Re-decorating your surroundings is a wonderful way to go in to a new year and banish the holiday blues at the same time.
    • Re-focusing on your surroundings and thinking about any changes you want to make will help you de-focus from the doldrums.
  7. Re-connect with an old friend. There’s something so wonderful about making that call you’ve wanted to make. Hearing your friend’s voice again will bring great joy to your heart. It might be a friend from the old neighborhood, a former college roommate or a past co-worker you were once great friends with.

 

If you’re feeling down now that the holidays are behind you, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to rise above those post-holiday blues when you try some of these strategies.

Taking some quality time for yourself during this period can lighten your mood immensely and ignite your excitement about the year ahead.

 

Choosing Your New Year’s Resolutions

At this time of year, you may be considering whether you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you’re now facing the beginning of another new year.

Even if you’re less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways.

Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you’ll be successful during the coming year:

  1. Select an area of your life that’s important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year’s resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
  2. Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year’s resolution can seem over-simplified. You’ll hear people say, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in to shape” or “I want to work less.”

What do statements like, “I want to spend more time with my family this coming year” really mean?

Here’s how to be more specific:

o   For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, “I want to lose 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips.”
o   Another example of being more exacting might be “I want to increase visual muscle definition in my abdominals and my upper arms.”

 

  1. Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results?
  • For example, spending more time with your family may manifest as, “I plan to work 4 hours less per week in the coming year,” or “I won’t work on Saturdays, starting January 1st.”

 

  1. Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year’s resolution for the first 3 months.
  • Consider this example: You want to lose 30 pounds. You’ve struggled to drop the weight in the past. But you want to get serious now.
  • Here’s one way to cut this into mini-goals: Lose 10 pounds in the first 3 months of the year, lose another 10 pounds in the second quarter of the year and drop the final 10 pounds the third quarter of the year. The fourth quarter of the year, plan to focus on maintaining your weight loss.

 

  1. Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year’s resolution is within reasonable standards.

 

When selecting your New Year’s resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select.

By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you’re more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!