How picky can you really afford to be when looking for a new job?

July 18, 2013 12:03 am19 comments
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How picky can you afford to be when looking for a job?

By MARK CUNNINGHAM.

In today’s economy, many people are applying for jobs that they don’t necessarily want, but would accept if the jobs were offered. While it’s important to keep your resume looking its best and to be friendly and informed during your interview regardless of the type of job you’re applying for, it’s also essential to use a little discretion during the job application process. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you narrow down your job search.

Be specific

Know exactly what you want in a job. Search for work in your field; if you have an accounting degree, search for accounting positions close to where you live. If you have previous retail experience, apply to work in a high-end boutique or retail establishment that is looking for full-time employees. This way, you can increase the chances that you’ll at least be interested in your job, which will serve as more motivation to show up on time and be a productive employee. If the job application process includes submitting your salary requirements, be detailed. It’s best to be upfront with how much money you’re expecting based on your credentials and experience so that you’re not disappointed or frustrated when you’re not getting the income you need from a new job.

Be patient and practical

Chances are you’ll have to work in a few jobs that you don’t necessarily prefer before you land your dream job. Make sure that you’re setting realistic goals for yourself so you can come up with a rational plan for getting the job you really want. For instance, if you’ve just completed your English degree, an editorial assistant job at a local publication will give you the experience to be an associate editor at a more notable publication in the future. Exercising patience during stretches of unemployment and working hard when you do get hired for gets you ready for better opportunities, and could make you more eligible for promotion.

Keep an open mind

While you do need to be clear on what you’re looking for in a job, you should also be open to finding a position that will serve you well, even if it’s not what you expected. If you’re looking for a teaching position, check out a few schools in your area to see if they’re hiring. The smaller student body and staff could make for a more comfortable environment, and it may be easier for you to share some of your ideas for improving academic retention for students. If you show up to an interview and find that the company is smaller or newer than you thought, make it clear that you’re open to providing suggestions and implementing programs that will help the company grow.

Look at every job as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. Take advantage of every opportunity to showcase your leadership skills, as this could help you turn the job you need into a position you actually want. Once you’re accepted for a position, make it a point to have a positive disposition each time you go into the office. Be friendly with your coworkers. Offer to help with projects that need to be completed right away. Your boss will definitely take notice, and this makes for an environment that helps you to become better in your field. Good luck!

This article was contributed by Mark Cunningham, entrepeneur, local restaurant owner and former hiring manager. If you’re passion is similar to marks –in the food industry, he recommends checking out Culinary Schools Connection to turn your passions into a reality. This post was originally published on Under30 CEO and has been republished with full permission. 

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