If you’re looking for an absolutely fabulous job, of course you’re going to want to scour the “careers” sections of in-house creative department and agency websites. No doubt you’ll also see what’s up for grabs on craigslist, monster.com, creative hotlist, and all the rest. But before you put all your eggs in the online job-posting basket, consider this:
Do you suppose George Clooney gets dates on match.com? Why should he? He’s so absurdly desirable he doesn’t have to. We’d submit the same is true for jobs. The George Clooneys of assignments — the fabulous projects with great creative potential, high pay, and reasonable deadlines — don’t need to go begging online.
They get filled in a heartbeat by people who have connections inside the company doing the hiring. Friends of employees, job-seekers who have taken the time to cultivate a relationship, and top creatives who have a visible reputation in their field of expertise are all highly likely to get the call well before these George Clooneys get posted (if they are ever get posted at all).
So, what’s a job-hunter to do? Check out the company websites and job sites, but don’t rely on them. Spend your time building relationships with the companies you’d like to work for, and don’t let those relationships go stale. Check in with your contacts from time to time to let them see your latest work or hear about a new set of skills you’ve picked up.
And, on that last note, if you don’t have a new set of skills to talk about, get them. There are plenty of great places that can help you add to your bag of tricks (Naturally, we think the School of Visual Concepts is a pretty good choice).
Summing all this advice up is the admonition offered by Garrison Keillor at the conclusion of his public radio show, The Writer’s Almanac: “Be well. Do good work. And keep in touch.”