Sunday, September 6, 2009

Don't Pay Someone To Help You Find Work

When I was 19, I got suckered into paying for an employment scam. I answered an ad in the newspaper advertising government jobs. The company that placed the ad charged me to fill out an application (big fat warning sign I should have smelled from a mile away), and then told me I'd be cut out for work as a maintenance technician and pointed me in the direction of a government office hiring maintenance technicians. When I arrived at the office, there was no interview waiting for me. Just a bulletin board with the job posting, a real application to fill out, and a big ol' line of people walking in off the street to apply for the same job.

No one should be charging you to find work. Period. Here's a second opinion on the matter from MSNBC.

Here's a few things you can do to help yourself find work:

  • Read this blog (I love shameless self promotion).

  • Read books. Books are relatively cheap, and used books are relatively relatively cheap!

  • Ask for feedback from your interviewer(s) on jobs you don't get. You will occasionally get some useful insight.

  • Work with a professional who specializes in what you are struggling with. I needed to improve my professional image. I tracked down Camille Lavington, one of world's best image consultants, and worked with her. Her help was worth 1000 times what I spent on her services.

  • Identify employers who need people like you, search engines like are great for this, and then see if anyone you know on LinkedIn works at that company.

  • Let all of your friends know you're looking for work.

  • Start your own blog. Every email I send out has my blog URL in the signature. Within 1 week of starting to write this, someone on a message board I belong to saw that URL, read this blog, and then approached me about potentially working for him as a recruiter. I also promote this on Twitter and my personal Facebook profile.

You've got to fight hard to land the job you want, there's no way around it. Even if you don't get the job you want, people like those with heart and spirit. The more you stay positive when you struggle and fail, the more you'll find others stepping up to help just because they like you.

1 comment:

  1. Great article Mike! I see people get ripped off all of the time thinking someone out there can magically hand them a job! While I have a dayjob providing career coaching for free to the general public, I do also have some private clients who pay for my services because they feel it adds genuine value, and I have so many references who speak highly of my results.

    Oh and one more tip to add, read my blog (I’m a shameless self promoter too!)