Open Eyes, Open Mind, New Job

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN
  • Updated: June 28, 2009 - 4:04 PM

Despite the rotten employment news -- Have you heard? We are in a recession -- there are jobs to be had.

In fact, your next job might walk right into the room today or come disguised as a position you do not really want.

How can this be?

Read on to learn how two people found work recently by doing simple, unusual things that you can do too...

1) Open Your Eyes
Kathryn Valentine delivers talks to secondary students on such life skills as budgeting, resume writing, and job interviewing, as a High School Presenter for Heald College in Concord, Calif.

 How did she get this job? It walked into the room. Literally.

“I was working at a nearby high school and looking for something different. Because I worked in a career center, I was the one who scheduled presenters to come to our campus. The Heald College rep came in and said to me, ‘This is my last day.’”

After discussing the specifics of the job, Valentine let a few days go by, then called to express interest in applying. “She told me to send her a resume, which I did, and said she would pass it on to her boss,” says Valentine.

She didn’t stop there, however. Valentine turned one personal connection into several at her potential employer, which give her an edge over other candidates.

“I found out who my potential bosses would be and emailed them about the position. I got this information by researching the school and talking to the former employee, who gave me names of people I should talk to,” says Valentine.

It worked. Valentine was hired in September 2008 for the position she now holds, replacing the woman who walked into her classroom.

Here are two takeaway lessons from Valentine’s success:

1. Keep your eyes open for job leads, because they’re everywhere.

As soon as you walk out the door each day, you’re entering the job market. Keep this in mind as you select your clothes, groom yourself, and load your wallet with business cards tomorrow.

If you fail to prepare to meet job leads every day, you are preparing to fail in your job search.

2. Turn one contact at employers into many.

The more people at an employer who know you want to work there, the better your chances are.

To that end, ask this question of every potential co-worker you meet: “If you were me, who else would you talk to?” Then, take names and start making phone calls.


2) Open Your Mind
Jennifer Perkins, a jewelry designer from Clawson, Mich., was hired for a position that didn’t exist -- it was created for her after she interviewed for … a different job.

She found a job posted online by a small business, and applied even though she felt overqualified, because the employer looked interesting.

“The job posting was for a Jewelry Knotter. I didn’t know how to do it, even though I have a degree in a related field,” says Perkins.

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