Image: Magnetism II by Ahmed Mater
I am fortunate: I love technology, value social entrepreneurship, and believe in the power of collaborative consumption to change the world in ways I think matter. These passions propel my consistent engagement with local and online communities and create opportunities for me.
Recently, a friend of a friend asked me for help in her job search. She listed a general set of skills and four or five different fields in which she would be “quite happy” working. No specific organizations. No burning desire to work in any specific capacity for any specific purpose. I love to help driven people advance their career goals, but I wasn’t sure how to help her.
This was my advice:
In my experience, by far the most effective way to find a job is to find organizations for which you would be passionate about working and network relentlessly to get to know the people there. In doing so, you position yourself well when they have an opening. I suggest you focus on what you would LOVE to do and hustle ceaselessly, attending related events, volunteering, connecting with people on social media, writing about your area of interest, staking out an identity for yourself in the field so your target organizations get to know you. That approach has always been successful for me. Employers can smell a mile away whether you are excited about working for them and their field or not, and if you are, they want your energy as part of their team. Passion and drive are magnetic.
If you don’t know what you love or why you want to do it, no one will know how to help you. Instead of looking for job postings, immerse yourself in the communities related to the activities you enjoy and the topics or organizations you care about. Start doing what you love for free, get to know as many people as you can, contribute to the conversation. Soon, the players in these spaces will begin to know who you are and seek you out - and eventually offer to pay you.
Bonus: this approach will probably lead you to a job you actually like.