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Most job seekers, in my experience, have limited ideas about what kinds of jobs they're qualified for and where they can seek new opportunities.

The first restriction comes about for two reasons: 1) none of us has much experience with a variety of jobs, so we don't know what skills are required or if we have them. We know what our parents, siblings, neighbors or friends do for work, but beyond that we're all fairly ignorant about what's available. And 2) there are so many different names for the same jobs at different companies, it is confusing and difficult to identify those we could do effectively.

As for finding jobs, again it's lack of experience and information that keeps us limited when we're looking for something new. We all know about the want ads, whether in print or on the Internet, but beyond that there isn't much information.
Here are some ideas to help in the search for new jobs - looking beyond the want ads.
A client came to me recently because he wanted help with his resume. He saw an ad for a sales position with a financial services company and was concerned that his resume wasn't right. After some conversation, he explained that this was the only job he'd found that he seemed qualified for (no experience needed) and he was ready for a "real" job, so he wanted to have his resume in tip-top condition.

I asked where he'd looked to find job postings, and he mentioned His background was in journalism, but during college he'd had summer jobs in sales that he enjoyed, so he wanted to pursue that. (And actually did have some experience, he realized.)
From his resume I noticed that his interests were in biking, skiing, golf and coin collecting. I suggested that he seek a sales position with a magazine related to one of his areas of interest in addition to the financial services job (which he seemed only lukewarm about), thereby combining his experience (journalism and sales) with his interest (biking, etc.).
"Yeah, that would be cool," was his response. We then brainstormed about publications (we came up with eight titles right away) and how to find the contact information to seek out New England ad sales positions for these and any other publications related to his interests he'd discover in his further research (visiting a well-stocked magazine stand or library).
Which leads to my next suggestion.

Think about what you're interested in and see what jobs might be related to them. Think about how what you love and your skills might work together. (Like my client -- interests: golf, journalism, sales; job: ad sales for a magazine about golf.)
You can cast your resume to reflect your experience in relation to the new position - which you should do no matter what kind of job you're seeking. If you have a passion for something, it will be revealed in your cover letter and interview.
And wouldn't you rather be working in a job related to something you really like? It won't be so hard to get out of bed or tackle those challenges if you're connected to your work at some deeper level than just needing a paycheck.
There are jobs everywhere -- in your neighborhood, in the next town, in government, in schools, in politics, in your kitchen or living room. The secret is to figure out what you love and then put on your thinking cap to figure out jobs that are related.
Usually more heads are better than one for brainstorming, so get together with some friends, other job seekers or a career advisor to generate ideas.

Once your have some job ideas, think about where you'd find out if there were openings: company web sites in addition to general want ads sites; networking events and asking friends and neighbors;from the Chamber of Commerce; articles in newspapers and magazines about new businesses, expansions and relocations - you get the idea. The secret is to figure out what you like, and then look for the job.

Using your time and talents in a way that makes you more engaged with your work will make you feel better and be more productive. It's worth the effort to look for the right job.

For more information, send e-mail to [email protected]

Cannon Career Development, Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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