My husband is looking for a full-time teaching job right now. It’s been a bit tough in this market. However, he got what might have been a break a few days ago. He’s consulting on a project at the university where he is an adjunct. He received some interesting advice as a result of his work on this project: Go in an ask for a better situation.
Apparently, there’s some wiggle room — but it’s not something that’s exactly advertised. This is something that is increasingly common in the job market. Employers might not advertise their openings, or advertise their best job openings. Instead, you need to be plugged in to the hidden job market, keeping an ear to the ground as you look for opportunities that might not be common knowledge.
One of the best ways to get an in with the hidden job market is to engage in networking . A little networking can go a long way when you are trying to figure out which job options you have. Members of your network might be able to tell you what is happening in their own companies, or you might have a mentor  who can give you extra pointers.
There are a number of ways you can network, including:
- Attend local business luncheons and events. Get to know the businesspeople in your community.
- Go to conferences and trade shows . These are places where you can meet useful contacts and connect with people in your career field. You also have the advantage of widening your network to include those from other parts of the country.
- Connect online. There are many places to connect online, including LinkedIn. You can check into web sites and forums devoted to people in your field to share your ideas and get to know people. Social media  provides many opportunities to network.
- Join associations and professional organizations. If there is an organization that represents people in your field, consider joining. These organizations often provide useful career information, and can even help you connect with those who might be able to help you find hidden jobs. This can also include your alma mater’s alumni association.
Knowing the right people can give you the inside track on what’s happening, and what jobs might be available. On top of that, you might also be ale to get a good referral to help you land the job.
Keep an Eye on Your Favorite Companies
If there are companies you want to work for, keep an eye on them. Sometimes, there are subtle clues that they are about to hire. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and you could get the inside scoop. Also, watch for news information related to expansion and business growth. Any company getting ready to open a new office in a new city is going to need more workers. That can be your cue to reach out to someone in your network and see if you can get inside information.
This can even work if your favorite company is the one you work for right now. Consider looking to see if there are internal postings, or if a connection in another department knows something about a position opening up.
Remember: The best jobs aren’t always advertised. Sometimes, you have to look a little harder, and go beyond the want ads.
(Photo: buddawiggi )