How to Find a Job (Yes, Even Now)

In a job market that’s nothing short of daunting, these nine women recently landed terrific positions. They share their strategies with you.

By Stephanie Booth
Woman in waiting-roomJim Franco

 

“I Turned My Volunteer Job Into a Real One”

Margaret White
The job she landed:
Nonprofit program manager.


How she did it: Stuck in a “directionless” job search after leaving law school in 2007, Margaret felt on many days that it was useless to get out of bed. By the end of 2008, she needed to plug herself into something positive. And so she called the New York City headquarters of Step Up Women’s Network, a nonprofit that connects female mentors with underserved teenage girls. Margaret, 32, had attended the group’s events previously. “I asked to volunteer, even if I was just collating papers,” she says. Within five months, what started out as work on an “as needed” basis turned into a full-time gig helping Step Up’s program manager. (Margaret’s family lent her money to pay her expenses.) “I loved being productive,” says Margaret, who helped run meetings, made presentations, and trained other volunteers. In February, the program manager left, and Margaret was perfect for the role. “Margaret delivered day after day as a volunteer, so I knew she would be a great hire,” says Jenni Luke, Step Up’s executive director. “And she is.”


Make This Strategy Work for You

  • Offer to speak at Rotary Clubs, schools, book clubs, and other events on behalf of the organization, says Mei Cobb, vice president of volunteer engagement for United Way Worldwide. “People at nonprofits are passionate about what they do and will take note when you help recruit.”
  • Don’t immediately announce you’re hoping for a paid position. “That’s like starting a new job and declaring on your first day that you want to run the place,” says Cobb.
 
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