A few weeks ago, I was invited as a panel member on “how to find opportunities in a challenging economic environment.” As part of my preparation, I listed all of my 22 previous jobs since high school, where I found those opportunities and whether I searched for those jobs or if the jobs found me.
Overall, 27% came from ads, 64% from referrals and 9% from co-op placement. It was interesting that 50% of the time, I was actively searching for jobs, and for the other half, the opportunities found me. Take note that for the last seven years, 100% of projects that I worked on came through referrals.
Lessons learned: devote 1/3 of your job search on networking and referrals, tell your friends about your expertise and availability, and recognize that most of the jobs are not posted anywhere!