You've checked and rechecked the online job postings, perused the papers, and queried your friends, neighbors, and relatives. You've sent out resumes, had an interview or two, but nothing's panned out. Feel like you've exhausted every avenue of job leads? Maybe it's time for a haircut! Or a dental cleaning. Or a manicure and/or pedicure.
Don't roll your eyes; I'm not recycling that tired old advice to treat yourself or stay well-groomed for job interviews (even if those ARE valid points). My point is that hairdressers, barbers, dental hygienists, and other personal service providers hear things the rest of us aren't privy to. They have a dozen or more people a day telling them about their problems with their kids, their health, their spouses ... and their jobs!
My hairdresser Barbara actually emailed me a couple weeks ago about a job opening at her daughter's company (a trade magazine publisher). I wasn't interested, but I sure appreciated the gesture. A couple years ago, when I was looking for a new job, she had passed my resume on to that same daughter, who passed it to the hiring manager. It didn't turn out to be a match — but it could have!
You may have a hidden job resource of your own. Your barber's last customer might be having a terrible time at work because his assistant just quit. Your plumber might have installed a shower for someone who just gave her notice in a position you'd be perfect for. Your manicurist might have a brother-in-law who manages the restaurant where you're hoping to work.
It's hard to keep finding new ways to feel productive when you've been job searching for awhile, but I'm a firm believer in asking for help. We're all in this together. We all hear about the layoffs and the closings. We all pay the same crazy gas prices. Reach out, tell your story, and hand out your resume to anyone who might read it or pass it along.
The Internet is an invaluable resource that has revolutionized job seeking. But the good old-fashioned, tried and true grapevine can still work wonders.
Oh, and you know who really gets the inside scoop? Bartenders. (Or so I've heard.)
Have you ever had a job tip from an unexpected source?