Creative job hunting works because almost nobody does it

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When I first heard the term Creative Job Hunting, my mind immediately drew a blank. Embarrassed, I wondered, “What types of things make up creative job hunting?” I had a vague grasp of the topic, but as for specific examples, I was at a loss.

I decided technology would make all forms of job hunting easier and if I conducted research and interviews with people old and young I would be able to map out how our changing technological world was changing the way people look for jobs.

So I found some exact examples of creative job hunting practices, such as researching an industry before applying, conducting interviews with people and job shadowing in a company to find out if it’s right for you, approaching companies and introducing yourself even if they are not hiring, etc.

I asked my dad, a baby boomer, first: “What creative job hunting methods did you use when looking for your first few jobs?”

“What’s creative job hunting?” he replied. After I explained it to him, he told me he just got jobs looking at the classified section in the Toronto Star and it was a disparaging experience.

Then I asked around at a potluck with graduating students from the University of Western Ontario, Sheridan College and McMaster University. While munching on perogies, I shot out the big question: “What creative job hunting methods do you use?”

“Huh?” was the response I got. Others gave me funny looks and continued their conversations about film. No matter who I asked, no run-of-the-mill person, parent or student knew about creative job hunting.

Why is this? When you take away the title, creative job hunting methods seem simple and obvious. Yet most people, myself included, rely on online job searches and newspaper classifieds. Some people, such as one of the girls at the potluck, are able to get jobs through relatives, friends or in their family business.

Creative job hunting takes a great deal of confidence, time and work, which is perhaps why people who are in need of a job and already stressed about money and the future go for more traditional methods that don’t cause them to put their ego on the line.

So even though my quest to write an article about how technology has changed creative job hunting ended up failing because nobody knows that much about it, I now have a greater understanding of creative job hunting and insight into why more people, students and professionals alike haven’t tried it.

But if someone is willing to put in the extra work, creative job hunting will set him or her aside from the other applicants. It might be worth it to try to find the confidence, especially since it will lead you to knowing more about which job you’ll actually like.

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About the author

Jess Taylor is a third-year creative writing student at York University who is pursuing a minor in science and technology studies. She would like to become a fiction writer and a non-fiction science writer. Over the past four years, she has managed and played in a ska/punk band called The Big Man Himself, started her own label, run a zine and much more.