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Getting work quickly

You want to get a job, any job, but how to get a job quickly? Perhaps you’ve been laid off, or maybe you’ve been unemployed for a long time already. Maybe the money pressure is on, so your motivation is high. What can you do to get a job, any job, right away? Well, maybe ‘right away’ is a little optimistic, but if you put enough effort into it, it is sometimes possible to get a job within a few days, especially if you live in a big city. In a small country town the method I describe may help too, but you certainly have fewer options and may have to be prepared to travel.

These days most people looking for work sit at home trawling the job sites on the Internet and firing off CV’s. You may have been doing this for months already. It is better than nothing, but with hundreds of applicants for each job, you stand little chance of finding anything quickly. If you are in work and wanting to move, this, plus networking with people you know (face-to-face and on Facebook, LinkedIn and so on) is probably all you can do. If you network online, make sure your current employer and staff there cannot see your posts - in Facebook and Google Plus it is possible to group friends and hence exclude this or that group from seeing any particular posting you make. However, remember the Internet is basically a public forum and there is no guarantee that they won’t find out.

If you are out of work, lucky you! You have time on your hands. This is what you do.

  • Get your CV (resume, resumé) up-to-date. Make it interesting and list as many skills and interests as you can reasonably claim to know about. These days people will be scanning CV’s with search engines, so you need to fill it with as many keywords relating to your work as possible. Get help with it if necessary and make sure it is fully spelling and grammar-checked, ideally by someone who knows what they’re doing if you don’t. Don’t trust robot grammar-checkers: they’re not much good yet. As someone who has spent a lot of time looking at job applicants’ CV’s, I can assure you that a CV with poor spelling or grammar goes straight into the bin in almost all cases. You might be considered for some dead-end work if you’re lucky.
  • As soon as it is ready, print out 10 copies to start with.
  • Find a nearby retail park, mall or industrial estate and spend half a day going from door-to-door or buzzer to buzzer in the case of offices, asking if they have any jobs available. Go to almost every company or organisation you pass, regardless of whether it is your sort of thing or not: don’t make the decision for them, let them decide what you might do. At the slightest sniff of interest, answer their questions politely and leave a copy of your CV. It is fine to speak to receptionists: you don’t have to reach the top decision-maker every time. Just make sure you leave a good impression with whoever you see, as for all you know the boss may listen to what they say about you. The receptionist could even be the boss sitting in temporarily for all you know. Presentation is important: try not to mumble or speak too quickly. They will not be used to your speech patterns if they don’t know you, so speak slowly and open your mouth properly when answering their questions. I say this because so many people let themselves down this way.
  • After two or three hours you will probably be tired, so go home.
  • Do the same, in different areas, every day until you have a job.

This method can find you a job quickly. Of course, it may not be a good job, or a job in your usual field, but it will be a job of some sort. In many circumstances, getting some money coming in is better than nothing. By going right into companies straight off, you bypass having to apply for an interview because they will be seeing you right away anyway. You will probably be interviewed on the spot a number of times, in fact. You might want to cherry-pick the best companies in your area to visit first, but don’t stop with just them. Visit almost all the companies, small or large, that you can find. You will probably want to skip one or two: maybe you don’t approve of them, or maybe you really don’t believe they would be right for you, but in general, at least 8 times out of 10, it is probably better to go in anyway. Sure, you will be right most of the time and they will have nothing that suits you or you won’t suit them, but twice out of 10 times you will be mistaken and there will be a possibility of work there after all. So tough it out and just go in with your CV and ask.

You will probably find it very hard at first. You may find yourself standing outside, trying to excuse yourself from going in. Be aware of what you are thinking and what reasons you are coming up with, but then go in anyway. It doesn’t matter. After a while you’ll get into the habit of just going right up to the door and it won’t be so hard. Ignore all obstacles: other people, stuff happening, your own doubts, etc. None of that matters. What matters is your objective. Get a job. Any job.