02 April 2012

How To Avoid The Herd And Still Get A Job

If you live and reside in the UK you would have been aware of the almost total chaos we found ourselves in recently, especially if you drive. With the sudden announcement from a government minister suggesting that the public should take precautions because of the potential impending union strikes, we should store extra fuel in jerry cans!! This brought out an amazing dash for the petrol pumps as people scurried to the nearest stations to ensure their car(s) were stocked up and more so, with petrol being dangerously stored in 'jerry cans' or whatever form of storage people could get their hands on.

I have to say whoever coined the phrase 'herd mentality' had these events in mind as it was astonishing to see people doing something that they would otherwise not have done had it not been for the misinformed and ill-guided announcement from the government. However, despite the rush and chaos and traffic jams and potential road accidents caused by the dabacle most people including myself still nonetheless manage to get their petrol, however, haven stuck to their usual buying habits.

And so, as we saw the descent onto the forecourts of our petrol stations last week, so there is a rush and clamour for jobs through online job boards. Now, since the rise of social media and social networking i have always been a proponent and advocate for using the power of social media, especially when you consider the massive impact websites such as facebook, twitter and linkedin have had on people's lives and society at large.

But, i cannot help but think of the 'herd' mentality scenario when it comes to finding work these days, though finding work through online job boards is still one of the most effective ways for finding work and no doubt we will see an increasing impact within this area, i do feel people are sometimes missing out on an age old trick when it comes to finding employment. And that is simply networking or through 'personal connections', some people might say depending on what industry you work in the 'old boys' network'.

Looking at most of the statistics and figures on finding work despite the rise and rise of the online job boards, it is still in the shade in comparison to finding a job through friends, family and contacts. Having said this, one has to say the internet is inextricably linked in that process of finding work, for instance, you might exchange information and make contact with someone using one of the many social mediums online but quintessentially it is as a result of that link, that personal contact that helped you in sourcing or developing an opportunity you may not have otherwise known, this is often referred in many employability skills and training workshops as the 'hidden job market'.

Femi Yusoof


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