OK, so I work part-time for a yoga mat company, have interned with other yoga businesses, and am now an ambassador/writer for this awesome company. And what’s the number one question I get? “How did you fall into all of this?” This question is followed by my response with a casual shrug of my shoulders. But when I tell people that I find jobs on Craigslist or via random Googling, only to stumble upon amazing opportunities, they usually don’t believe me. They think Craigslist is creepy and don’t take the time to delve into Google’s vast web space searching for jobs.
Yet here I stand, an example of two very important concepts to help you achieve your dreams: Reach Out, Branch Out.
1. Reach Out
You have to be willing to reach out to random people, even strangers. No fear! No holding back! I landed this very blogger position simply by…asking. Groundbreaking, right? It seems so easy, and yet time and time again people are surprised when I tell them about how I got into this or that. They think jobs only happen when a job posting goes up. They’re afraid of rejection. But the truth is, you’ll never know what could have been unless you ask.
There is no harm done by sending an email inquiry, sending a tweet, making a phone call, etc. Just do it! If you think a company looks amazing, contact them! It shows initiative (and let me tell you, it’s worked wonders for me many times)!
2. Branch Out
You have to think outside the box. OK, so we went over the simple task of asking, but how do you even find the jobs to inquire about? This tip is similar to Reach Out, but it specifically involves thinking of creative ways to actually find the job.
Another personal example; I got my job with the yoga mat company by responding to a Chicago Craigslist ad…and I live in Pittsburgh, PA!* When I spoke on the phone with the owner, he asked me where I was from, and when I told him he was so confused. He asked me how I stumbled upon this listing. Well I found it because I was purposely looking at all different cities because I was searching for a virtual social media job; hence, if it was virtual, why did it matter what city I searched in? He laughed at this and simply said, “How smart!” I got the job out of about 100 applicants.
Jobs are tough to come by, and finding a dream job is even harder, so you have to get creative and look everywhere! Look on Craigslist, social media, check company blogs, hit up LinkedIn, do cold calls, send emails, talk to people in the biz, etc.**
In the end, you have to be willing to accept rejection, no callbacks, and emails left unanswered. But I promise you, it you’re willing to ask the questions from all different angles then you are going to see a door standing wide open. Just don’t be afraid to walk in…
*I did the same thing for my Yoga Recipe internship, which was based in Austin, TX.
**The last three listed are firmly rooted in tip one, Reach Out and ask.