Where the jobs are

in Working

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For many KAA-Boomers, looking for a job – whether by choice or not – can be a daunting experience. That’s because it’s probably been 10, 15, 20 or more years since they last had to pound the pavement in search of employment and, in that time, the world has changed.

It’s no longer simply a case of opening the classified ads section of the local or national newspaper and seeing pages of jobs available in virtually every sector. Even online job boards are of limited help. That’s because 80 percent of great opportunities are never advertised. Instead, they’re found through friends, former colleagues, business contacts, neighbours, and social and volunteer activities. So job seekers – and especially older job seekers – need to network.

How to network

If you’re looking for a new position, begin by letting everyone you know. Burn up the telephone lines tracking down former co-workers and bosses who can spread the word and even recommend you to someone they know. Join professional associations and online professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to post past positions, professional associations, awards and recommendations and makes it easy for prospective employers to check you out before even asking you in for an interview.

But most importantly, sites like LinkedIn allow you to find those former colleagues, bosses and other professional contacts as well as link to people you would like in have in your professional network. It’s an easy way to get through doors.

Many headhunters also use LinkedIn and there is even a job board that posts opportunities not found elsewhere.

The Internet also gives you access to hundreds of electronic bulletin boards, blogs, online communities and general and industry-specific job boards . Looking for a job in the not-for-profit sector? Check out charityvillage.com. Hundreds of not-for-profits use this site to find qualified candidates. Interested in the publishing industry? Look at masthead.com. This site has dozens of jobs and opportunities in publishing. And the list goes on. If you’re looking for industry-specific job board, find a website that is at the centre of that industry – an association, agency, governing body, or even a magazine. This is a great place to start your search. If you don’t know of such a website, or your initial searches don’t produce useful results, a search engine like Google is the next best place to start.

Another tip is to make a list of those organizations with whom you’d like to work. Most post opportunities on their websites first, before spreading a wider net. These include municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments.

So the great jobs are out there. Finding them just requires a more targeted approach.

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