from Dr. James Michael Nolan, President of Southwestern College, Santa Fe

CareersA lot of job seekers take the obvious (and smart) tack of scouring the newspapers (OK, I get that newspapers don’t really exist anymore—just being metaphorical) for job listings, job openings.

They read the descriptions ,write a relevant cover letter, or fill out the online application, proof the old resume or CV, and hope for a call.

Not a bad strategy. As far as it goes.

But this strategy misses a few things. There’s the agency where they know Jeff is leaving at the end of October to move back to Portland, but they haven’t posted the position yet. There’s the private practice group that is considering adding another principle to the practice, but have not managed to get together to articulate just what skill set would most benefit the organization. There’s the job that Carla is going to vacate the first of the month, but she has been reluctant to break the news to her employers. There’s the guy who knows a guy who knows the woman who is creating another counseling position to help with the growing needs of the members of her ministry.

In other words (note: I am writing this from a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at Marco Island), if you think the only fish in the sea is the dolphin that just breached the surface, you’re missing all the rest. Most job openings  aren’t posted at all, or yet.

“So what am I supposed to do?”

Well, it doesn’t hurt to do some research on local agencies and practices, see who they are, try to meet the leaders at local conferences or professional meetings, find out what skill sets they tend to hire, and which ones they might currently lack. Check out their social media presence. If you are a blogger, or a social media savant, you may be able to interest them in the fact that you could make a significant contribution there, as well as in the clinical areas.

Write to them if you are interested, and let them know exactly WHY you are interested and tell them EXACTLY why you are interested in them, how they caught your attention. Let them know you are looking, and ask them to kindly share your resume with anybody else they know who might be looking to hire.

Share your own social media sites and web site with them (unless they suck, but that is a conversation for a different set of blogs I have written). Connect with the individuals on Linked In, and follow the organization, if it has a presence. (If not, suggest they might benefit from one, or from a Pinterest presence, or what have you.)

Right this minute, the Gulf is quiet and amazingly undisturbed on the surface…But I am pretty sure there is a whole world of activity going on just below that surface…

Think I’ll do a little snorkeling…

Jim Nolan


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