Looking for Work

Job Hunting Tips

Somewhere along the line, our language shifted meaning slightly. “Looking for work” used to mean, “I’m capable and I’m looking for a place to apply what I know how to do.” Now, it means “I’m unemployed and hoping to find an employer to nestle me into their machine.” These are two very different things.

You see, the frontier is all around us (thank you, Levi’s), and by this, I also mean the job frontier. But we’ve grown weak in our entrepreneurial skills. We’ve forgotten that we don’t need a boss to get paid. We’ve somehow decided that “security” equals working for someone else who has all the cards and pulls all the strings.

Look. Really Look

The other day, I wrote about my frustration with a simple business transaction. In the comments, I realized that there was actually a business opportunity there. You see, it would’ve been worth money to pay someone to deal with the annoyance, because I ended up eating an hour of my time doing so. An hour of my time bills out for a heck of a lot more than an hour of a virtual assistant’s time. Dang, an opportunity.

I have a few friends who are really down on their luck right now. It happens to all of us, and it’s not their fault. I mentioned to both that doing something in the virtual assistant space (managing teams of them, in this case) would be a surefire money maker. Why? Because tons of people need them. And yet, whether they take up that suggestion is another matter.

Use Your Network

The whole reason you bothered social networking was to build relationships. Those relationships can be really useful, if you work through them appropriately. For instance, one friend of mine had several job openings. She knew that if I tweeted them out, they’d find some interested parties. Another friend pinged me looking for a steady paycheck, so I mentioned the same jobs. It was all network stuff. It’s why we bother having one.

The thing is, neither of them would’ve needed me if both sides would use the tools that are around them. Instead of making someone jump through hoops to find a job posting, write a blog post with the particulars and with contact information. Easy cheesy. Instead of telling me that you’re looking for work, write up a great blog post about it, or post a secret hidden page on your website if you’re being subtle about it, and then let your network help you find it.

I Create Work

Today, I deposited two checks, one from Amazon and one from Google. These represent my two lowest paying affiliate sources, and so the checks weren’t for much. They totaled a few hundred dollars short of my mortgage. My affiliate check from Genesis (affiliate link) this month will be quite a different matter. That check will pay 3 to 4 times my mortgage. That means that all my years of hard work of building an audience, building great content, and earning your trust now pays for my family’s home every month, which means that I have a lot more opportunity to say no to work, if it’s a bad fit or if I can’t do it, timing-wise.

I created that work. I built something. In fact, I created all my last few years of work. I don’t have an employer.

And You Can Create Work, Too

There are opportunities all around us, but they require us to think them through, to consider the very basics of business planning (markets, products or services for that market, distribution, effort required, etc). We see too often the word “entrepreneur” as someone in a software startup trying out a zany model that may or may not work, or that Google might buy some day. That’s the furthest flung definition, in my mind.

YOU could be one. You just have to undertake some risk, work hard, and seek out a profit for your efforts. There is work all around you. There are tons of ways to do it. There are very hard active ways to do it (sadly, a lot of my work is active still, and I have to find a way to fix that), and there are tricky, longer-term passive ways to do it. And to be honest, you have to do both. You have to gather berries and nuts for today’s meal while learning how to plant for next spring.

If you’re looking for work, HOW are you looking? And once you get a little, are you banking up for more or do you stop right then and there? How much of your patterns are based on the industrial ghostworld that we all came from, but that has ceased being viable? How much of the Matrix still owns you?

And what work can you do today?

I can’t stop using The Vintage Collective‘s snaps. Great photography.

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • http://mydarabell.com/ Dara Bell

    Do not stop using the vintage snaps. Chimes with a piece Richard Branson wrote on creating opportunities. Like the Matrix theme.

    Thanks

    Dara

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  • http://twitter.com/Kaeljia Kellie Jones

    You make some valid points..but as a few people have said you left me wanting more.
    I suppose I may be a little stupefied by some of what you said… or the meaning behind the words were lost on me. Or perhaps I’m just not getting the gist of what you were trying to say.
    I’ve been out of work for a year and a half now, the first year it was medical, now it’s just finding employment that fits to my needs.
    My last job was one I was offered while I was self-employed and had been hired as a gardener. I was hired on by fisheries.. haven’t fished since I was a kid, I enjoy eating salmon but never considered the idea of working for fisheries..but it was my favorite place to take walks.
    So I was stoked. 3 month contracts, a week or not off in between each contract, worked for two years until my operations. By the end of the second year I was told contract workers were not being hired back and more cutbacks were being made.
    Every time I turn around more cutbacks are being made. More people are out of work.
    When you live in a small town, and minimum wage is $8.00 an hour and your’re working minimum hours a week..under 30 in most cases… it just doesn’t pay to leave the house.
    I live 10 minutes outside of town, a tourist town.. with a highschool three elementary schools, and a middle school.. not to mention all the college kids that come back every year.
    *sigh* needless to say, I had considered going back to gardening..but I noticed for every one gardener that I use to see on the road when I worked over 5 years ago as one… there were now 5 on average I would pass within a two block radius.
    With so many people out of work every Joe blow was now working for themselves as gardeners or yard clean up crews.
    Not being a scavenger I wanted a new direction… still looking.. but everything is relative.
    A domino effect can go on for a very long time… you hear that more people are working..sure now they need to take on 3 jobs to make one job. I’m just trying to fit in one job to my schedule and finding people don’t want to bend to that..

    I’d love to figure out how I can make my internet research skills, typing, googling tweeting facbooking skills pay off for me.
    Oh and I’d love to make photography my main source of income. LOL there’s a lot of us out there. With the advancement of technology: cameras, pads, computers.. wifi… it means more and more people are doing what you thought you were special in.. making it hard to shine amongst all the other people trying to shine…
    So from one sparkly person trying to be seen in a sea of sparkles…. how do you do it?

    • Key

      are you sure we do not live in the same town? LOL.

    • Key

      are you sure we do not live in the same town? LOL.

    • Ghopkins

      Kellie, 

      “I’d love to figure out how I can make my internet research skills, typing, googling tweeting facbooking skills pay off for me. 
      Oh and I’d love to make photography my main source of income. LOL there’s a lot of us out there. With the advancement of technology: cameras, pads, computers.. wifi… it means more and more people are doing what you thought you were special in.. making it hard to shine amongst all the other people trying to shine…
      So from one sparkly person trying to be seen in a sea of sparkles…. how do you do it?” 
      I couldn’t agree more. I have been taking photos for years and would love to tie it all together in a business. I have tried a couple of photographer ventures but when they dipped, I got scared and stayed working at my job. Now I’m unemployed and have no security blanket to run to. I need to do. I find I’m spending too much time researching and not much time actually doing, experimenting, failing and learning.

      I hope you found your answer to “how do I do it?”

      Best wishes, 
      Greg

  • http://twitter.com/Kaeljia Kellie Jones

    You make some valid points..but as a few people have said you left me wanting more.
    I suppose I may be a little stupefied by some of what you said… or the meaning behind the words were lost on me. Or perhaps I’m just not getting the gist of what you were trying to say.
    I’ve been out of work for a year and a half now, the first year it was medical, now it’s just finding employment that fits to my needs.
    My last job was one I was offered while I was self-employed and had been hired as a gardener. I was hired on by fisheries.. haven’t fished since I was a kid, I enjoy eating salmon but never considered the idea of working for fisheries..but it was my favorite place to take walks.
    So I was stoked. 3 month contracts, a week or not off in between each contract, worked for two years until my operations. By the end of the second year I was told contract workers were not being hired back and more cutbacks were being made.
    Every time I turn around more cutbacks are being made. More people are out of work.
    When you live in a small town, and minimum wage is $8.00 an hour and your’re working minimum hours a week..under 30 in most cases… it just doesn’t pay to leave the house.
    I live 10 minutes outside of town, a tourist town.. with a highschool three elementary schools, and a middle school.. not to mention all the college kids that come back every year.
    *sigh* needless to say, I had considered going back to gardening..but I noticed for every one gardener that I use to see on the road when I worked over 5 years ago as one… there were now 5 on average I would pass within a two block radius.
    With so many people out of work every Joe blow was now working for themselves as gardeners or yard clean up crews.
    Not being a scavenger I wanted a new direction… still looking.. but everything is relative.
    A domino effect can go on for a very long time… you hear that more people are working..sure now they need to take on 3 jobs to make one job. I’m just trying to fit in one job to my schedule and finding people don’t want to bend to that..

    I’d love to figure out how I can make my internet research skills, typing, googling tweeting facbooking skills pay off for me.
    Oh and I’d love to make photography my main source of income. LOL there’s a lot of us out there. With the advancement of technology: cameras, pads, computers.. wifi… it means more and more people are doing what you thought you were special in.. making it hard to shine amongst all the other people trying to shine…
    So from one sparkly person trying to be seen in a sea of sparkles…. how do you do it?

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  • http://www.blackfridayplanet.com/ William Hushburn

    Sometimes when I am in deep trouble, I thought of people who I can rely on. But that shouldn’t be happening. I guess you only think of people you know when you are in despair.

  • https://www.argoscareers.com/jobs_argos/careers/retail.aspx Retail Career

    I didn’t have time to go through all your comments, and judging by the one at the top I’m guessing some of them are spam.

    Good and interesting post. I’ve been aware of affiliate marketing for almost a year now. I haven’t started to try and make any money yet, as I feel I need to perfect my knowledge before I try. But you’re completely right. There are the correct tools available to make your own work, it’s just having the desire and skill to be able to do so.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with you Chris, too many people out there in this incredibly tough job market aren’t reaching their potential with regards to showcasing their plight and their skills to potential employers. And not enough are considering the move into becoming their own boss which I am myself, it’s probably the mental aspect of not having a 100% secure paycheck coming in each month that scares them off but if you can build value for yourself and not for another then in the long run you’ll be much better off.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with you Chris, too many people out there in this incredibly tough job market aren’t reaching their potential with regards to showcasing their plight and their skills to potential employers. And not enough are considering the move into becoming their own boss which I am myself, it’s probably the mental aspect of not having a 100% secure paycheck coming in each month that scares them off but if you can build value for yourself and not for another then in the long run you’ll be much better off.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with you Chris, too many people out there in this incredibly tough job market aren’t reaching their potential with regards to showcasing their plight and their skills to potential employers. And not enough are considering the move into becoming their own boss which I am myself, it’s probably the mental aspect of not having a 100% secure paycheck coming in each month that scares them off but if you can build value for yourself and not for another then in the long run you’ll be much better off.

  • http://www.notafanatic.com/ Notafanatic

    I totally agree with your statement. Becoming my own boss is almost essential to my lifestyle and situation. Right now, I just want to make it happen. I came here to get an idea of what other bloggers were writing about, but I ended up finding quite a few affiliate programs as well.

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  • http://Results.OneGreatMovie.com ChristaMishon

    Up Gas Prices—Down Economy… If you’re tired of the Up’s and Down’s in life… And want something solid and Steady…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/-benefits-of-webcam-modeling Gucci Girl:)

    I feel like the article spoke directly to me!! Everything said here is so true.. I was a female college student who needed a way out:( Book Costs, Tuition, Food!! I couldn’t take it anymore till I found a way out & this new part time job of mine is LITERALLY a life saver I was on the verge of dropping out of school because I couldn’t afford it..Now I’m a college grad with a beautiful 2yr old son now and we are enjoying life to the fullest!!

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  • Steven

    This articile couldn’t be more right.  I’ve worked since I was 12-years old and never seen conditions for employment as they are.  You know something has changed dramatically when those with jobs don’t really talk about them around their unemployed friends or relatives.  No matter who is really to blame for this mess with the economy, its going to take a long time to pull out of it, and with people like me who are close to retirement age, it really bites.

  • Greta

    While I think the points made here are great, I need to offer my own perspective as well. Any way I slice it, self-employment can’t be anything more than a side business or a resume-gap filler for me because I have several chronic health conditions and absolutely need employer-provided health insurance.

    Yes, the economy is terrible, but at the same time, the barriers to self-employment have never been higher. It would cost me $800/month to insure myself with those conditions (then, I’d have to spend $1.2K out of pocket before the insurance even kicked in). To put my husband on the plan, I’d be looking at $1400/month and $2k out of pocket.

    Networking is a great idea. I have been mentoring younger employees and always write people notes when the get promotions, change jobs, celebrate birthdays, get married, etc. Unfortunately, the reciprocity is lacking throughout my network. When attending meet-ups, I usually run into “hustlers” who hope to make a buck off of me, as well as other unemployed people who hope I have a job to offer them (they mistake me for a hiring manager, I suppose). Creating my own position and applying to companies that way has never worked for me either. So unfortunately, with a useless network, no ability to create my own job, and health insurance needs, I am left with placement agencies and posted positions – where the great jobs don’t exist. It’s no wonder I dread working again!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/karl.lee.501151 Karl Lee

    I like what you said there and i admire your way of thinking…never give up is what i say!

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