I was speaking to a couple of youngsters who were looking for jobs. They are both qualified in programming and were saying the job market for their skills was down, right now. They were undergoing training and said it was better than sitting at home. The training was giving them experience, though they were not paid.
It set me thinking. Why should programmers only look for jobs in software companies? Could they not look for jobs in other fields? These girls dismissed my questions and said it was not that easy.
I read that the areas where jobs were open are in the hotel, hospital, tourism, advertising, and film making industries. So does that mean those who have done programming like these girls cannot hope to get a job in such fields? They will not be able to use any of their knowledge in any of these fields?
Anyway, it is not easy looking for a job in recession times. But fortunately, we are not so badly affected as some countries. It is slightly more difficult than normal times.
Here is where networking comes in. The more friends we have, the better to spread the word around. Surely they will inform two of their friends? Social networking is very useful at such times. And normally people are helpful, they do look out for openings for people they know.
There are plenty of job sites available on the Internet. So sending out your resume is easy. But first, one has to make sure the resume reflects one’ s personality and lets the prospective employer know one’s potential.
The resume has to be updated every six months. You never know when you will need it. If you are not sure how to write an impressive resume, then get professional help. Yes, there are people who are professional resume writers. This is micro specialization!
Many people are realizing that they prefer doing things for which they did not take proper training. Sometimes some involvement starts as a hobby, and then it turns into a full fledge profession. This happens when a passion develops and becomes all consuming. We have cases of engineers and doctors turning into full fledged dancers and classical singers.
So while pursuing your higher education, also develop a hobby. If you are passionate or have a passing interest in something other than academics, do pursue it and nurture it. That could turn into a profession later. For instance, there are chartered accounts and advertising professionals who take up stage/television/film acting. It starts as a hobby, they accept small roles and then soon enter the field of acting and that becomes their profession.
Man is a social animal. So you do not need any excuse to attend gatherings of any kind. Any gathering, be it family, official, seminars, workshops, parent-teacher meetings, attending sports/stage activity of your children where you can meet other parents, neighborhood gatherings, exhibitions, lectures, discourses, entertainment programs, are all potential places to exchange your visiting cards and dropping gentle hints about the fact that you are looking to shift careers.
And if you are looking for a job, there is no need to feel embarrassed and inform people. The more people know you are looking for a job, the better your prospects are.
But just applying for jobs will not do. You have to follow up with phone calls to the concerned person. It is easy to find out the names of people who handle resumes and just remind them of your application. These people are handling hundreds of resumes, so it is not possible for them to remember all the applicants. When you call and keep in touch, you stand a better chance of recall when a vacancy comes in.
Sometimes it is a good policy to make cold calls. Just drop in offices and ask to meet the HR person who is responsible for hiring. You could make a good impression and be remembered in future. Leave your resume behind and do call up to refresh their memories.
Most companies are listed on the Net. So getting their email id and posting your resume is now made easy. Even if they are not hiring now, they will keep your resume for future use. There are also many consultants who specialize in placing people in various offices. They have good contacts and registering with them will also benefit. Here too periodic calls will help.
If you are looking to switch jobs, circulate your resume and hope to get a better job. If you are out of a job, and finance permitting, do hone your employable skills. It will help you land a better job.
And being without a job shouldn’t embarrass you. Do not stay away from family gathering and do not stop visiting friends. It is a phase in your life over which you have no control. Catch up with friends, indulge in a hobby and try to keep yourself occupied. Do not lose your spirit and look for ways of earning. Maybe you have a talent to go it alone. Start your own business. Explore the possibilities. Man is a creative animal too. So something will definitely click.
There are businesses you can start by operating from home. This way your operating costs will be down and what ever you earn will be available totally for you. You can earn working from home, like many on line editors or tutors. If you have had some experience in working in an office, you can offer training services to offices. There are many who offer office etiquette, some soft skills training and such like to different offices. This is a good source of income. For this you should update yourself with corporate needs, have good knowledge of English and be comfortable addressing people.
You can be inventive. If you have garden space, you can start a nursery of plants, you can offer tuitions, how to speak English fluently, or any other language, offer cookery classes, masala/pickle/papad making classes, open a crèche or a day care center. This center could be for children as well as aged persons.
You needn’t go it alone, if you cannot. You can join up with some people who have similar thoughts and pool in your resources. I know a family that sells good breakfast on the beach. The mother and daughter-in-law wake up early and prepare the food, the son and his father sell it on the beach. It is prepared hygienically and packed well. This has become very popular and the father-son duo finish with the sales in a couple of hours and are gone from the beach. They are doing very good business.
There are people who do business in take away food. Or the sweets and savories for festivals. You can start small and soon expand. So do not lose hope. Be positive and explore avenues that you never looked at. You never know where you will fit. Know what is happening in the world and you will find your niche.