Career Strategies: Getting the Scarce Job

You want to be hired into a glamour job:  magazine writing, book publishing, museum curator, any other highly sought after career.  You have no influential friends who can help.  You need to make a living.  If you’re young it’s school debt if you’re a Boomer it’s your children’s tuition.  If you have had unpaid internships and endless minimum wage jobs you are growing desperate.   What’s the quickest way to get a paid position?

1.  Carve out a niche and become a content expert.  Most experts are self-proclaimed.  It’s a question of picking a problem in your chosen field, researching it and writing about it.  In demographics it’s all about the Boomers — what they will and won’t do.  In museum work it’s about donors and audiences.  In magazines it’s about attracting and retaining younger readers.  Do you have something provocative and fresh to say?

2.  Look at the people now in the job you want.  Get their bios.  How did they get from point A to point B.  NEVER listen to people telling you what an organization wants.  Always look at the people they’ve hired.  In the old days organizations — in order to attract techies — would tell people that an IT had a shot at the top.  If it wasn’t an IT organization that was a lie.  How to find out for sure?  Get the bios of the top five officers.  Would you be surprised to learn they came up through sales and marketing?  Could this be why so many techies start their own companies?

3.  Never stop campaigning to get into the organization you want.  Volunteer there if it’s a not-for-profit.  If it’s a magazine, what trade organizations do they belong to.  Become a member.  Look for feeder organizations.  What has been the career path for the last five editors?

4.  You have to be in the path of the moving train.  Magazines and entertainment hang out in New York.  The movies are in Los Angeles.  People who refuse to move to the source city are, by definition, not serious.  If you want to work for a museum you may end up in an obscure university town — for a year.  Or, you may end up working for a museum you wouldn’t visit — for a year.

The saddest people I talk to are the ones who never followed a dream, regardless of age.  Yes, it would be difficult to be a television production intern at 45 but you could make a strong case for how you other experiences have  equipped you to make a contribution now.  The good news:  Even the stuffiest organizations aren’t looking for employees who’ll stay forever so age is less of a factor.  If you’re waiting to write your memoirs until you’ve “lived” it will never happen.  Write, right now.

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.

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Filed under Boomers, Career Strategies, Millennials and GenX