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How to Find Free Help for Your Job Hunt

How to Find Free Help for Your Job Hunt

Finding a job right now is tough, which means that there’s a fairly decent chance you’re going to be involved in a lengthy search that requires you to make the money in your bank account last as long as possible, even if you know all the right things to do to get hired. Unfortunately, the actual act of looking for a job can be expensive when you add up coughing up dough for sites that give you job listings and let you post your resume, driving from interview to interview, and even paying for internet access itself. Because of this, you need all the free help you can get, to which I have to say: “you’re welcome”.

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doing what you want

    Below you’ll find several suggestions on resources that you can use to get help on your search—most of them without paying a penny! You’ll be surprised by how obvious some of these ideas are, and wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself, but hey—that’s what I’m here for.

    Your friendly neighborhood library.

    I used to go to the library all the time when I was growing up, so it pains me to admit that I haven’t been to one in a long while. Most of you are probably in the same situation, but if you’re looking for a job, there’s never been a better time to rediscover the library that’s closest to you. Why are libraries so great? For many reasons, but the number one benefit for job seekers with pitiful bank accounts is that you can save money by canceling your internet account, because the library lets you use it for free. That’s right: you can us it to search for and apply to jobs, keep up with your email, network with people on LinkedIn, and even waste time checking Facebook and ESPN. Beyond this, most libraries also offer workshops and clubs where you can learn new skills and meet people (hey, networking!).

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    Sites with free resources.

    While you’re at the library using their internet, take advantage of sites like Career Igniter and Brazen Careerist, which offer a number of services completely free, such as a job search engine, virtual career fairs, advice columns, and even resume builders. There are also niche sites that focus on giving you guidance in particular industries. For example, Wall Street Oasis provides free (and some paid) resources for those looking to enter the financial sector, and The Aspiring TV Writer and Screenwriter Blog shares advice for those looking to gain a toehold in the entertainment industry.

    The chamber of commerce.

    The what now? Many of you probably don’t even really know what your local chamber of commerce is, but if you’re desperate for work, you should. Basically, it’s an organization run by local companies that tries to push the interests of business. Why does that matter to you? Because the people running it are the very ones you should be networking with to get a job. Plus, they tend to know about area job openings first, and many of them hold frequent job fairs. Head here to find the one closest to you.

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    Your Alma Mater.

    Did you know that most colleges and universities will give their graduates free career help for life? Pretty nice, huh? Yes, most of it is standard stuff like talking to people about how to interview, what should be on your resume, and which job strategy is right for you, but many career services offices also have job listings that they make available only to alumni. That means your field of competition will be greatly reduced for those jobs so you have a better chance at landing them. Also, they can help you network by putting you in contact with other alumni in your field.

    It’s important to note that any money you spend on your job search can become a tax write-off at the end of the year, so keep a careful record and itemize everything. Additionally, some companies will offer you free incentives that can help your job search in exchange for advertising their services. Vistaprint, for example, gives free business cards to anyone who lets them print the company logo on the back of the card. That may be slightly tacky, but free is free!

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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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