Midlife Career Change Myth #2: Jobs are Found in Internet Ads
Only ten years ago, just 15% of unemployed job hunters were using the Internet in their search. Today, depending on the source, it is closer to 4 in every 5 job seekers. So, if everyone is doing it, then it must be the best method, right?
In 2005-06, the University of California, San Diego conducted surveys with recent graduates to explore, among other things, how they found employment after college. The results indicate that 26% of the graduates found employment through resources on the Internet. However, 38% found jobs as the result of networking, internships and prior experience. Other job sources were job fairs, campus postings, employment agencies and employer contact. But the interesting statistic here is the number of jobs found as a result of networking and other non-advertised methods.
More than a third of the graduates found jobs because of contacts they had, not through searching online advertising or newspaper classified (which, by the way, accounted for only 2% of the graduate jobs). This means that even for individuals starting their careers, networking is a key source of career leads. How much more vital must networking be for those of us who have been at this for more than 20 years?
Networking is a great way to find unadvertised jobs or to connect with employers through other channels. More importantly, if you are considering a career change to another field, networking is crucial to your success. Real career change should involve making connections, sharing information and promoting yourself through personal contacts. Your ability to network within the industry and follow up on leads is vital to finding the right job. For some simple tips on career networking, check out the article Job Search and Career Networking Tips at About.com.
Now, don’t finish reading this post and think that I said not to use the Internet in your midlife career change. On the contrary, you should spend time reading up on the career field, looking for potential employers, and networking with others. That’s right, use the Internet as a medium for career networking. Search for forums and groups in the field you are exploring. Talk with others who share your interest and begin following those important networking tips. Let people know you are looking to change careers and interested in helpful information and leads.
The Internet can be a great tool for midlife career changers, but don’t expect the perfect job to simply appear when you do a search on Monster.com. Invest your time into networking, it will really pay off.
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