How To Find a Job When You’re Not Looking

column | Jobs & Careers

How To Find a Job When You’re Not Looking

By Betsy Corcoran (Columnist)     Apr 2, 2018

How To Find a Job When You’re Not Looking

This article is part of the guide: EdSurge’s Guide to Landing a Job (or Finding the Perfect Candidate) .

Economists call the current economic conditions a “Goldilocks economy,” one that’s neither too hot nor too cold. That’s great news for both job seekers and employees. Companies are still hiring. Equally good—the economy is steady enough that if you’re employed, you might just have enough breathing room to think about what you really want to do.

Doing what you really truly love turns out to the be secret of finding your next job, whether or not you’re actively looking. And that leads us to this insider’s tip—or perhaps question: What do you truly love to do?

When we first entered the job market, plenty of us grabbed the first job that we could find that paid the bills. A few years into the work, we might have discovered we loved, say, marketing, but really wished that we were promoting products that made a difference in people’s lives. Remember that old line: “You are what you eat”? It only takes a few months of working in a corrosive environment to realize that organizational culture isn’t just the stuff of case studies. The attitudes, work habits and spirit of the people who surround you can be uplifting—or can make the best-paying job seem like a prison sentence.

If you find yourself professionally restless, this Goldilock’s time might be the “just right” moment to ask whether you want to do something else.

So, where do I start?

Start By Making a List of What You Love

Start by thinking about the experiences that you’ve had that left you smiling. One friend always loved her work. But when she had children, she discovered that kids made her laugh out loud—and that the feeling was too delicious to ignore. Alternatively, another friend who thought of himself as a gaming maven discovered the great outdoors and (to his shock) realized that he liked hiking even more than his mobile device.

...and then ask yourself: How do other people get involved in these kinds of activities? The friend who loved children decided that she might want to switch into education. The gaming maven? He’s beginning to wonder if it’s possible to design games that involve geo-caching or augmented reality.

Next Up: Find Out Who's Already Doing What You Love

Brainstorm how to get involved with—even on a volunteer basis—your favorite activities. Call us crazy but one of the reasons so many people love spending their evening at an EdSurge meetup is because they get to hear the latest ideas and to hang out with others already involved in education or education technology. Even better: Offer to run a meetup. We’ve known plenty of people who built a new professional circle–and found their next job–by running a meetup on a topic they loved.

Many organizations are also eager for volunteers for one-time events. That's a great way to dip a toe into the activity, meet more people and add a nice item to your resume. Hackathons have been a breeding ground for new collaborations. Or if you have a bit more time, consider joining the board or a committee of a nonprofit close to your heart.

Getting involved in something, even when you’re not actively looking for a job means that you get to exercise your interests and passion, meet new potential colleagues and learn, in an authentic way, whether you are truly interested in a new area.

What’s your passion? Your next professional circle? And if it has anything to do with education, consider dropping by the next EdSurge meetup or job fair!

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.

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EdSurge’s Guide to Landing a Job (or Finding the Perfect Candidate)

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