How to Ask for a Job — Without Asking for a Job
We’ve all been on the unemployed couch at some point or the other in our professional lives. It’s quite normal to feel miserable and embarrassed to reach out and ask for a helping hand to pull us out of our hardship. Words don’t seem to form and ask the much-needed question — “Hey, know anyone that is hiring?”.
This is because we perceive ourselves as needy individuals when we are down and out. And we think that the world would look at us with compassion and pity, and we just don’t like to be pitied or endure vulnerability in public.
Asking for a job doesn’t have to be a flustering topic when you know the right way to do it which is — Don’t ask for a job directly!
How is it even possible? Read on to understand how you can land yourself a dream job without asking for it directly.
REASONS ASKING FOR A JOB CAN FEEL LIKE A CUMBERSOME TASK
While it isn’t an easy task to find a job, the fact that you’re jobless can be a heart-wrenching situation to find yourself in.
The bravest of us find ourselves cowering in fear when we are forced to ask our family and friends about any valid job offers.
Here are a few reasons as to why we feel the way we do while asking for a job.
Makes you feel vulnerable and helpless
Many individuals can feel defenseless and may even fear to ask for a job opportunity among their immediate circle of friends.
Being unemployed isn’t the greatest feeling in the world and it surely doesn’t feel nice to tell someone that you are no longer able to look after yourself. After all, you’d hate the attention of empathy and sadness from others as if you were a poor puppy left in the rain.
A professional career is linked to self-respect and a high status in society, the opposite means that we are part of the unemployed brutes that have lost our independent status. At least this is what most of us assume the world thinks of us in our days of being jobless.
While being unemployed is a completely normal thing, it shouldn’t cripple you into a depressive state of mind. There are ways to overcome this situation and by reading further, you can land yourself a job without having to ask for one.
Michael Borrero, an associate professor at the University of Calicut, has written a detailed analysis of the psychological factors behind the unemployed mind. The review goes into detail explaining the various psychological abuse that unemployed workers face in a social environment. The professor begins to break these emotional outbursts into 6 distinct stages
Stage 1. Dismissal
Stage 2. Apathy
Stage 3. Calmness
Stage 4. Weak-willed
Stage 5. Hopelessness
Stage 6. Passive Aggression
In the first stage, the unemployed mind seeks to dismiss themselves as unworthy and signs of fear begin to take place. The 2nd stage deals with apathy where the subject has lost interest in pursuing a job. In the 3rd stage, the individual begins to calm themselves down and accept their fate and leave their options to a higher power.
The 4th stage starts to see the individual lose all hope in life and begins to lose his willpower in divine existence. The loss of hope begins to descend in Stage 5 and by this time the subject is in absolute distress and begins to lead a desperate life with suicidal tendencies on the mind. The final 6th stage is about dealing with aggression and a meaningless life.
In the following study, we learn that the average unemployed person goes through different variations in life before they reach a point of hopelessness and absolute apathy.
Asking for a job from known colleagues can make you feel desperate
Requesting a former co-worker to help you land a job can make you feel like you are taking them for granted. You feel your self-respect is on the line and may even consider other options to sway the conversation in your favor.
Take the following example for instance.
Remember Mary?.. from the PR department of your former company. Reaching out to her to inquire if there was a job opening present in the company wouldn’t be a bad idea. Except Mary would now converse with your former co-workers, who would soon flood your phone with queries regarding your current state of employment.
This is how the mind of “an unemployed professional” works when they attempt to contact one of their former colleagues. They tend to create unpleasant scenarios, and this shuts them down from ever contacting anyone they knew professionally for the fear of sounding vulnerable.
But if you were to pose your question in a way such as
“Hi Mary, I was wondering if you know of any positions for [your job description] is open? I am enquiring on behalf of a friend.”
In this case, you wouldn’t have to put yourself in the situation to take the guilt and know if there was an opening available.
You can then proceed to directly apply to the opening discreetly by contacting the hiring manager of the firm. In this way, you’ve secured a job whilst maintaining your self-respect with your co-workers.
You don’t want your unemployment status to be the talk of the town
Let’s face it, no one wants their unemployment status to be spread around social-media for friends and family to discuss.
Hence, we try to simmer the situation down by playing it calm and trying to work ourselves anonymously into the job market search. Alas! This creates an extremely unfavorable scenario where we can’t scope the best job opportunities through recommendation and must make do with what we get.
Hence, it’s invaluable to consider utilizing intelligent tactics to get around this awkward situation. Instead of openly asking for a job on social media, you could always post a message on your profile page requesting for people to provide their input on what role your job could fill and what golden opportunities are available for your role.
By sounding interested, you create a discussion with your friends and family, and many would come forward to offer their input on how your job role would be suited for a company.
In this way, you create job opportunities that previously didn’t exist, and you didn’t even have to announce your unemployment status. It’s a win-win scenario!
THE SUBTLE BENEFITS OF ACQUIRING JOBS THROUGH THE HIDDEN JOB MARKET
The hidden job market is simply a term used for describing jobs that aren’t posted on job portals or don’t have a valid advertising campaign.
In short, the hidden job market has a lot of potentials to land you a job without gaining attention. Although the term “hidden” makes it seem mysterious and secretive, it’s just a different path of securing jobs instead of the regular job Portals.
The hidden job market offers numerous benefits to the candidate apart from allowing you to be anonymous, you get to network without the need to disclose personal information until an interview is scheduled. There is no need to pay for any service as jobs are gotten through traditional networking channels.
Connections can be made through social media channels, with your college alumni, former acquaintances, friends, and family. By tapping into the hidden job market, you have a list of high-quality postings since you are directly being referred to the employer through your contacts and you can skip past all the entry-level positions.
You can also enjoy perks such as direct interviews without having to go through a batch of interview rounds through the hidden job market.
To enjoy the benefits of the hidden job market, you must first allow yourself to be positive and accept as many invitations as you can within your professional and personal community.
This allows you to expand your networking database and you get to meet new people who could be potential employers, or they could recommend you to one. If your neighbor invited you over for a birthday party, head on over and make some new friends in the process.
Your social network pages such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. should have your latest professional information. If a known contact were to be browsing your page, by simply reading your position, you could get an offer to work with them.
You could also volunteer to work in companies of interests that relate to your field of work and proceed to build a network from there.
A great way to get news before the company sends out offers is to subscribe to newsletters and keep yourself up-to-date with various emails that alert you instantly when you receive an offer. A simple cold call to an employer or a letter can ensure you land an interview session with the company.
The hidden job market is a great way to secure a job without having to go public about your unemployment status and still come out with your self-respect intact. Remember, unlike job portals, this channel requires effort and hard work to build your contacts and in return, you get to enjoy quality job offers.
To understand more about the “Hidden Job Market”, here’s an informative walkthrough guide by “Cheeky Scientist” on how to learn the ropes to network better.
STEPS TO SECURE JOB OPPORTUNITIES WITHOUT BEING UPFRONT ABOUT IT
Create an Elevator Pitch
Having an elevator pitch on hand is rather important to immediately provide a quick background of your experience and professional talents.
An elevator pitch — as the name states, should have concise and detailed information about your professional career and you should be able to disclose this information within the time frame of a single elevator ride.
When you begin to network at a serious level, an elevator pitch comes in handy while having to explain yourself.
If a new contact were to question your long-term goals, have a quick summary of what they are. An elevator pitch is an excellent way to promote your career when time is short.
Meet with the Higher Authorities
Always aim to meet someone that is one or several steps above your position. Meeting with senior managers and CEOs of a company can set you up with a better evaluation as compared to your own peer group that might identify you as a potential threat to their job position.
Every acquaintance that you meet is an important individual that can assist you in the future.
Always store contacts and numbers, they are bound to be useful to bounce off references and land an interview. Start by contacting all your senior level associates and former bosses, even if it’s a former company, you can end up receiving valuable information about open positions in your field.
Stick to asking Passive Questions
During a meeting, having a set of vital questions that can get you moving towards a conversation where your job is concerned is highly critical.
Passive questions such as “Is there valuable advice on how I should improve my professional skills?” or “Are there companies that I should be looking to join to improve my talents?” can open a world of conversations that will eventually lead to references and other leads.
Passive questions such as “Do you know of any companies that provide branching options to my skillset?” are great openers without giving out your unemployed status. This can certainly get your recommendations on the companies that you should approach.
Maintain a Clear Vision of your Goal
When you understand what your end goal is, you can conveniently communicate your plans with the person in question. You can indirectly inquire about job opportunities amongst your immediate family and friends without sounding needy.
Don’t consider anything less than what you’re good at.
If you get a job offer that offers low pay for something that doesn’t fit your job description and you aren’t passionate about, decline it.
Focus on your long-term goals, no matter your current situation.
Never let people corner you into a situation of accepting a lower salary than you are entitled to because of your situation.
Email your peers Instead of Direct Encounters
Emails are a great way to send out multiple professional resumes while maintaining a subtle profile about yourself. While at a professional level, not everyone is available to answer the phone due to their busy schedule, an email works wonders, and it also serves as an inquiry instead of sounding desperate and needy.
Proceed by writing individualized emails to all your known associates and receive insights on the current openings and where you should look out for jobs. If there isn’t a job opening now, you will surely hear from them if a position were to open in the company.
Improve your Communicational Skills
Great communicational skills are handy in securing a job without showing your need for it. Stuttering and frequent stammer can cause your clients to rethink their decision in investing in you.
Hence, it’s important to coach yourself on verbal skills.
When you have excellent communication skills, you come off as a confident individual and you can talk your way without having to sound like you are in desperate need of the job.
Many employers make the choice of their candidate based on the communicational skills of the employee and you can surely demonstrate your superior soft skills to secure a job.
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO FACE THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH OF UNEMPLOYMENT
Being unemployed can bring in dark emotions and make the best of us feel embarrassed and ashamed of waking up every morning. The thought of being jobless is a personal failure and a sense of shame descends upon us.
After all, we’re used to hitting the shower as soon as our alarm wakes us up and the smell of morning coffee no longer feels the same.
Here are a few ways to normalize your unemployment status and how to beat the situation with thoughtful planning.
Come to terms with your unemployment status
Ask yourself is being unemployed a moral failing? Am I a criminal now that I am unemployed?
The answer is no.
Unemployment is a phase of life, some of us go through it often while others enjoy a successful career path. Feeling ashamed is natural but it’s important to take back your life by coming to terms with your situation.
Jobs aren’t permanent, and no one is safe.
Once you realize this, you will have a far easier time dealing with unemployment in the future.
Many successful entrepreneurs started off as jobless individuals before they found their true calling and made it big. There’s no reason you can’t be a part of the successful list, all you need is a positive mindset.
In a study conducted by Alan B. Krueger and Andreas I. Mueller, it was revealed that unemployment and emotional well-being were interconnected.
The data showed that the unemployed people were unhappy throughout the day while the employed were happier at the same times. The unemployed people instantly regained their sense of pride once they were re-employed demonstrating the quicker you get employed, the more convenient life you begin to lead.
Hence, it’s necessary to focus on landing a job before you begin to worry about your unemployed status.
Don’t waste time sulking in your room, instead convince yourself that you will get out of this mess and write down an actionable plan.
The plan could include any number of things that you are willing to do to land a job.
Send emails to your contacts and inquire about open job positions, setup profile pages on your social media accounts, browse company websites for career opportunities, or simply volunteer and create a network.
Stop imprisoning yourself with your unemployment status, instead set yourself free and consider this an opportunity to prove your worth and get back up again.
You will never be able to land a job by running incidents back-to-back in your mind, but you can search for job placements and get yourself a job by lining up interviews.
The World Isn’t Always Judging Us
Just like how the world doesn’t magically disappear when we sleep, it’s the same when we step out of our homes, there aren’t any judgmental eyes that look at us with despair.
It’s alright to accept the sympathy of a loved one but it’s also necessary to understand that being jobless is a temporary situation and isn’t something that should cause a difficult period in your life.
Instead of avoiding people, make new contacts and create a checklist that you would meet one new person every day. Creating fun to-do lists will encourage you to do the things that are important and remove negative aspects from your life.
Here is a detailed video demonstrating 5 tips on avoiding things to do when you’re unemployed by “Make it Big Training”.
Take the time to connect with yourself before you begin your networking journey. Even if you’re unemployed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you take up odd jobs to manage your life. When you become a serious networker, it isn’t hard to secure a job that is meaningful in every way. The relationships you build today will become the pillars of your strength tomorrow.
Always remember to ensure you offer your gratitude to the people that help you in your time of unemployment. The larger your network, the quicker you convert the unemployment status to “being employed”.