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by Sara Pacelle


As one of the many job seekers out there, you work hard every day on your search. You do your online searches, have your lists, write your cover letters, send in your applications and then…, you play the waiting game. You don’t hear from anyone, so you do the same thing the next day, and the next and the next. Each time you apply to a job opening, you expend some of your precious job search energy and when it is not recharged with feedback, you can begin to feel depleted and frustrated. I envision this kind of job seeker sitting in the Waiting Place, vividly described in the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

“You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.  The Waiting Place...”


This description of the Waiting Place depicts where many of today’s job seekers are, those whose strategy is to focus only on the open job market. The open job market contains jobs publicly posted on job boards, and company websites and listed with staffing and recruitment companies. These available advertised positions are open for all to see. Since there are many eyes looking at and applying to these same finite roles, the competition is stiff and full of other applicants who may also end up in the Waiting Place.

The other type of job seeker dwells in this open job market, but only 20% of their time. The majority of their time they spend proactively and energetically in the hidden job market. The hidden job market has jobs that are not open to the public and which may not yet even exist. These jobs are about to be generated by company growth, outplacements, terminations retirements, and future openings. They are also jobs that are specifically created for individuals who have emerged with certain skillsets or experience.

To find out about these potential jobs, you need a plan and a good pair of walking shoes. First, research and target companies where you would like to work. Next, set up Google Alerts and Follow those companies on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Join industry associations and other networking groups to build your contacts and get closer to your targeted companies. Connect with people who already work at those companies. Network your way into informational interviews to learn as much as you can about the companies and their needs. Do this strategy with each of your target companies. Chances are over time and through these meetings, you will encounter a hiring manager or decision maker who could use your skills and experience on their team, now or in the future. Hiring managers are always on the lookout for potential talent, especially ones whom they have already met. Employees welcome talking with interested prospects since companies are increasingly using Employee Referral Programs that compensate their employees who bring in successful hires.

So, how do you get out of the Waiting Place? Focus most of your job search energy on the hidden job market. It’s proactive, energizing and results-driven, where you, the job seeker, are in control. Oh, the places you will go!