“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,” wrote French novelist Marcel Proust.
Covid has led to a rise in unemployment. But a new perspective also sees opportunity in changing times. Personal connections can lead to a career, business, and investment opportunities in growing fields like medical sales, healthcare services, cryptocurrency, IT, or online delivery.
What option is better? Wallowing in misery, which helps no one. Or adding value in a disrupted marketplace.
Access a Hidden Job Market
Most Americans know the benefits of healthy personal connections. These include well-being, sense of belonging and meaning.
However, too many people ignore more tactical benefits like getting a referral, landing an interview, meeting a hiring manager, or discovering an Amazon reseller business.
Being strategic is absolutely critical because it avoids wasting time and effort during a historic pandemic recession.
Consider this insight: Job boards are for suckers.
Most employment openings aren’t actually announced in open forums. According to a 2020 LinkedIn survey, 36% of recruiters said 51%-75% of hiring opportunities belong in a hidden job market. While 29% said it’s more like 76%-100%.
In other words, if you’re searching for employment like everyone else, your resume will be trashed almost every single time. “You don’t have to worry as much about missing out on those hidden jobs if you’re doing good networking and being strategic,” a career coach told LinkedIn.
Unless you’re class valedictorian or possess a couple of impressive technology patents, that’s just how the real world works. Resumes from strangers are for the trash bin.
Tapping Personal Connections
Your personal and professional network has a higher chance of landing you a video call with HR. It’s about who you know.
You can approach family, friends, a pastor, a college roommate, or an older mentor to see if they know someone who knows someone. There are thousands of people within our reach who are two or three degrees of separation. There can be dozens of hiring managers within that immense circle.
Search Online for Past Contacts
There are online tools available that can reconnect you with personal and business contacts. CheckPeople.com locates family, friends, previous workers, or business associates by leveraging publicly-available databases to identify contact info, addresses, and social media info.
“CheckPeople lets users discover phone numbers, addresses, social media data, and even court documents,” says Elvis Džebić, a company representative. “Using several public databases simultaneously saves consumers time.”
To make a quick search, you’ll need to know a contact’s first and last name. However, if you’re researching a common name (like Bob Johnson), you can narrow the search to include city and state.
When we don’t leverage personal, professional, and business connections, we can spin our wheels pretty quickly, which ends in dozens upon dozens of resume submissions and job inquiries not getting any response.
Even people you know at a church or charitable organization can provide leads on who may be hiring.
It’s important not to get stuck in ineffective ways of searching for opportunities. Just remember this about LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Monster, and the rest. Employment postings that have been published for days typically have hundreds of applicants.