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Step out of your comfort zone to shorten job search time

While continuing to focus on traditional job search strategies, it is very important for job seekers to keep their antennae alert to job opportunities that may present themselves serendipitously.

Consider the following success stories:

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E-mail leads to a job offer
Despite a busy job search schedule, Nick* made it a point to regularly read numerous trade and academic publications. To him, the journals presented opportunities that were not covered in the help wanted sections. Whenever an article or story piqued his interest, he would write a note to congratulate the author or to initiate an intelligent discussion. Over a period of time, Nick developed a powerful network of top experts in his industry.

Prompted by habit, Nick once wrote to the author of a study that directly complimented his area of interest. One thing led to another and the researcher, a well-recognized expert in his field, not only -- rather zealously -- introduced his new-found fan to other experts in the field, but was also instrumental in securing Nick a job offer.

Promoted in the train
Sally* a software engineer was frustrated with her daily commute from Connecticut to New York. She was looking for a job opportunity closer to home. Once, during an informal conversation with a fellow-commuter, she expressed her interest in finding a job in Connecticut itself. At that time she did not know that the person she was conversing with was a C-level executive at a leading software firm in her own city. Call it coincidence, luck, or the hand of destiny, the company was looking to fill a project management position. A series of interviews followed this initial introduction and Sally ultimately found a new job -- and promotion -- just one mile away from home.

Buy a workout, get a job--free
Tania* loved her management job with the federal government. Frequent travel, however, was disturbing her otherwise peaceful family life, and she was desperately looking for a change. During a stress-busting workout session, she casually described her career interests to her trainer.

The CEO of a local firm happened to come in for a workout the same evening. The trainer did not lose the opportunity to present her favorite client’s case. Tania now works as the manager of an establishment not far away from home.

Ask and ye shall find
While conducting a routine transaction at the bank, John*, the owner of a marketing communications firm, politely requested the customer service representative to introduce him to someone in the marketing department. The associate, as a matter of professional courtesy, was more than happy to oblige her loyal customer. She facilitated the conversation and, voilà, our man landed a lucrative project with the bank.

Rules are meant to be broken
Jack* was an enterprising student. He was very interested in pursuing a research fellowship with a leading pharmaceutical company. As a matter of policy, the company accepted applications only from doctorate degree holders. Jack, however, had only a master’s degree. Undeterred, he researched the name and contact information of the fellowship director and during a 45-minute conversation, he managed to impress on the director that he was a perfect fit for the position. Jack was invited to apply for the fellowship the following year.

Read a story, find a job
Janice* happened to read a newspaper article that described some problems her dream company was facing. She did not lose time in sending an unsolicited proposal describing her talents and her ability to solve the company’s existing problems. She also requested face time with the manager. Her creativity helped open a position that never existed.

All the above examples describe stories of average individuals who did not hesitate to step out of their comfort zones. It was their initiative and alertness that ultimately landed them jobs.

* Names changed to protect privacy

Related Articles:
Online Job Search: Job Searching In The Digital Age
Common Job Search Mistakes
Career Growth: Strategies for Achieving Career Success


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