I was looking at Indeed.com and seeing what jobs are out there in Cleveland (It's something I recommend everyone in the professional world does, even if you're not actively looking for a job. You never know what you might find for yourself, friends and family).
While looking at jobs, I find myself in one of these categories:
Not Interested At All: It's as clear as a clear crystalline prism that shining a bunch of light: I'm not interested.
Interested, but underwhelmed at the financial compensation: I consider myself a la Paris Hilton or Tiffany 'New York' Pollard where I'm up to try new experiences and jobs, but only at the right prices.
Interested, but totally under-confident: We've all been there, it's a great job but it's asking for 40 years of experience, 2 degrees, and skill-sets and previous project experience you can only dream of having.
These second two are where it's rough: we don't want to be underpaid and we want to be challenged. But it sometimes seems like we're missing out on the best opportunities. Why can't the job pay a couple bucks more? Why can't the job be an 'assistant' or more of an entry job (don't get me started on the entry jobs that demand advanced experience!)?
So how do you find the right opportunities in the job hunt? But not only the job market, how do you find the best opportunities in your personal life, your romantic life, heck, every part of your life?
Keep At It: My good friend Monica once told me that she had to apply for over a hundred jobs in a small period of time in order to get perhaps eight-ten interviews, three-five second round interviews and before finding her perfect job following graduation.
When Monica told me this, I kind of grit my teeth. A hundred applications? A hundred cover letters? A hundred times signing the government forms where I don't claim to be a veteran and explain that I'm a white caucasian? Sounds like a lot of work.
And it is, and not to be Debbie Downer, but you're going to put in a lot of work for interviews and phone-calls that you might not get. But this tip worked out for Monica: she's in Europe, paid for by the company I should add.
Find Out What You Don't Want: While finding out what you love is super important, discovering what you don't want is even stronger! Let's say your name is Maggie Marie (I don't even know where that name came from) and you think you might want to work in the sports industry. Well, a job opens up as an assistant coach for a little league team! Maggie Marie takes the opportunity and gets hired but finds out that she doesn't like kids and wants a more administrative role then a coaching role.
Or in Ricky River's position (clearly I'm going for a Rocky River inspired name here), he thinks he needs to date someone within his general profession. Ricky River starts dating someone who has the same job as he does and finds out that such a relationship won't work.
Being able to say 'I don't want that' is so helpful in sifting through opportunities.
Being Open: Perhaps the most important is being open to an opportunity that presents itself to you. Open in the sense of considering and investigating the opportunity properly instead of writing it off. For example, Maggie Marie (she's back baby), comes across a job that doesn't seem to be what she wants but decides to at least apply. During the interview she finds out that the job description forgot doesn't properly explain the position well and decides she's heavily interested in the position.
On the other hand, Ricky River doesn't think he'd be interested in introverts because he's such an extrovert. But he goes on dates to find that maybe he's better off being with an introvert.
To give you some more ideas, I jotted down a few of my experiences with opportunities:
Friends: A good chunk of my friendships happened randomly honestly. Casual friends or colleagues recommended grabbing drinks or appetizers and then real friendships and connections formed. I've made friends at the gym, while recruiting for my fraternity and even walking on the street.
This Cool New Job: I saw the post for this cool part time job but thought it might be a scam. But the job kept coming up so I decided to apply for it. Not only has this job been an excellent opportunity, I'm super happy and love my new colleagues.
This Blog: I've actually really gotten into this opportunity. And this opportunity came from the whispers of folks who said I'd be good at it. So, opportunities can be right in front of you for the longest time before you decide to take hold and see what happens.
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