If you’re committed to having a healthier, well-rounded lifestyle for yourself and your family you’ve likely given some thought to the impact of your job or business on your quality of life. For some working from home is the answer. For others that’s not the answer because they enjoy the perks of working for someone else.
We all know that the “work at home” movement is one of the biggest work trends in recent years. Millions of people have a desire to work from home and not just because they want to run their own business. For many people what they really want is to just work as close to home as possible. The stress and pollution generated by long, multi-hour commutes to the office are definitely unhealthy. More and more people are just saying no to this kind of situation.
So if you’re not interested in starting a business, but want the health benefits and salary that come with a job, why not find a job close to home? Making the choice to work in your community is getting easier because suburban and urban cities are recognizing the importance of creating attractive, “green” communities that attract conscientious residents and good corporate citizens looking to hire those residents!
You might choose to move to one of these communities or your own community may be going through an update to be more aligned to these new guidelines for healthy community living. All in all it is helpful to assess your community’s livability according to these kinds of guidelines since healthy and vital communities have a significant impact on your life!
Does making a concerted effort to obtain employment close to home sound like a viable plan to you? If so, let’s look at some key tactics and strategies to help you work closer to where you live.
When I worked as a recruiter for a national employment search firm I spent a great deal of time getting to understand employer needs and job hunter preferences. Once that information was documented I then tried to match people to jobs. The more information I had from the employer and the job hunter, the more likely I was able to help both sides find the exact person that they needed. This is the same kind of exercise you can do to achieve success.
First identify your career or job interest. What is it you want to do for a living or continue doing for a living? You’d be surprised at the number of individuals I have met over the years who have never really asked themselves that question. So many people work in positions that they don’t like yet have no idea of the kind of job they’d like to do. Remember you’ll never find your dream job if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Once you’ve identified the position or career you’re after you then need to research the skills and strengths needed to land that position. If you’re not interested in using a great online search engine like Google to research your career, I’d suggest you visit your local library and have a chat with the librarian. Librarians are still great sources of information and can point you to other career resources.
Perhaps you already have the skills you need for your dream job close to home or you may need to take a course or embark on some independent learning to build or brush up your skills. I suggest you consider joining a trade or professional association related to your field of interest. Not only can you access great, targeted and affordable educational resources through an association membership, but you can also network with other members who may end up being essential contacts or leads for your next job opportunity!
Okay, you know the job you want, you know the skills you’ll need to get that job and now you need to ensure that you can communicate your strengths and experiences to a recruiter or potential employer. There are two main ways to present your skills and qualifications to prospective employers and recruiters. The first is your resume and the second is the job interview. The catch here is if you don’t have a good resume you have less chance of getting that interview.
Your resume is very important. If preparing a top notch resume is not your strength, then secure a professional. When I graduated from university one of my first major expenses was the fee I paid a resume consultant to help me draft and type my first professional resume. My consultant examined my experience (what little there was at that time), training, skills and future objectives to help me create an articulate and comprehensive resume. That resume was instrumental in helping me to land my first career position.
Now we get to the fun part. The whole purpose of this exercise is to land a job close to home. You need to research employers in your town or region. Check the list of members at your local chamber of commerce and drive around local business parks or commercial parts of town so that you can list the businesses in your area. This may seem time consuming but it is so important. Your future “work place” happiness could be waiting for you within a few blocks of your home.
Don’t limit yourself to an industry. Let’s say your goal is to land a position as an event and meeting planner but you’ve only worked in a hotel and there are no similar employment opportunities in your community. Well that kind of position is very transferable and can be found in many industries, from insurance companies to hospitals. Research your local firms well and put some thought into how you might be able to fit your skills and experience into the company of your choice.
Be creative. If a local company that you’d like to work for doesn’t currently have the position you’re after, perhaps they’d be interested in creating one just for you! Why not send an introductory letter to the President or Human Resources Manager. In that letter describe how your qualifications and experience would make you a beneficial member of their company. Finally, ask if you could come in for an informational interview (an “informational interview” implies that you are not there to specifically ask for a job – so there is no pressure). This kind of friendly approach certainly doesn’t hurt your local job hunt strategy, and many people have done this successfully (including yours truly).
Finding a job close to home is truly easier than you think. If you’d like to get more information and tips for living the “new urban” lifestyle in the suburbs or the city please visit New Urban Mom for more information.