It’s a job seeker’s world: unemployment is low, the economy is adding thousands of new jobs each month, and 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age each month. If you’re in the market for a new job, there’s plenty of opportunity. And you don’t need a college or advanced degree to get one of those jobs.
There are many jobs out there that require low or no skills and experience, and a growing number of communities that are making it easier for those who have done time to get a second chance with a good job.
Still, it’s not easy to get a job you’ll like and are good at. What’s the secret to getting it right?
For more than 70 years, we’ve helped thousands of people find good jobs, build valuable experience, and earn long-term career success. In that time, Active Staffing has found that there are three basic rules for job seekers to have success not just in getting the job, but in keeping it and advancing up the career ladder.
1 – Follow the rules. The starting point for any job seeker is the application process. If a company has a practice to apply online, then honor that rule. We promise that an online application process isn’t a brush-off; it’s a way for companies to manage multiple candidates efficiently and find them positions where they can succeed.
Other rules for job seekers to follow are less about technology and more about courteous behavior. Show up on time, dressed for an interview and prepared to answer questions about yourself and any past experience. If you have a resume or letter of reference, bring it. Watch your language, smile and make eye contact. This is your chance to make a good impression on someone who may wind up being your boss.
2 – Break a few rules. As the hiring process continues and even after you get the job, you can make a positive difference by breaking a few rules. Whaaat? No, we don’t mean you should start coming in late or arguing with your coworkers. What we’re talking about is doing a little bit more than the bare minimum “rules” the job requires.
A few rules you can “break” that will help you get the job and the promotions that follow are things like showing up early. Offering to take on tasks whether you’re asked to or not. Or raising your hand when your boss is looking for a volunteer to do something out of the ordinary.
You get the idea: doing a little more than the “rules” require for your job will get you noticed in a positive way and help you get ahead. You may also find it satisfying to flex your leadership muscle, even in an entry-level position.
3 – Make new rules. This is an area that can separate you from the pack and start you on your way up the ladder in any new job. Again, we’re not suggesting you take over and rework the processes at your job. Making new rules is about making constructive suggestions.
Do you see a safety hazard that you think can be corrected? Talk to your supervisor about your idea and you could save someone from an injury or accident. Do you know someone who would be a good new hire where you work? See if you can arrange an introduction that will help bring in a talented new employee. Is there a step in the process that you think could be done a little more easily or quickly? Let your manager know; it could save time, money and effort not just for you but for the company and everyone you work with.
Keeping your eyes and mind open to new “rules” can identify you not just as a go-getter who wants to move up, but as a dedicated employee who most employers will want to keep around.
And there you have it – three easy tips for finding a good job, keeping it, and moving up: pay attention to how things should be done, give a little extra effort, and make suggestions for improving things.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your ideas. And if you’re someone who agrees that these rules make sense, we’d love to put you to work. You see, people who understand these three rules make great employees and are sought-after by Active Staffing and our clients.
Talk to us about how Active can be your gateway to a long-term career!