10 Unexpected Places to Find a Job in 2020

places to find a job

There’s a huge demand for workers right now. According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor report, unemployment is holding steady at 3.5%.

Therefore, sites like ZipRecruiter, Monster.com, and SimplyHired.com are brimming with listings right now. Even the local newspaper classified section probably has new jobs each morning. But what happens when none of those listings are a good fit for you?

If you aren’t having any luck on the traditional job boards reach out to the people around you. Ask everyone you know if they know of any jobs and go out of your way to meet new people through networking.

That’s why it’s important to consider other avenues for locating a job. Let’s review these 10 places you might not expect to find work:

1. Networking Events

If you’re a job seeker, no doubt you’ve been told that networking is one of the best ways to find a job. That’s because it’s true. But do you know where to network? Here are two great places to start.

Local Meetups

Look for local events and meetups. They don’t necessarily have to be geared toward your industry, but that’s an option. The best meetups will depend largely on your experience and your desired career field.

Use websites like Meetup, Citysocializer, and Eventbrite to find local groups and events for networking.

Conferences

If local events don’t cut it, look for regional or national conferences within your industry. Conferences allow you to learn new skills, but also provide limitless networking opportunities. Often, networking events are scheduled into the event itself.

Take advantage of your time at an event and go where the people are. Step out of your shell and make connections. The next person you talk to at an event could become your connection to a new job opportunity.

I created FinCon mostly to network with other personal finance bloggers. Conferences are my favorite way to network.

2. Your Alumni Association

Most major colleges have alumni associations that could be a wealth of help for job seekers. There are probably people within your college’s alumni who own businesses or work for businesses that are hiring. That’s just the start, though. You may find even more services available to you at your college or university.

For example, The University of Virginia Alumni Career Services (ACS) department provides endless services for alumni. Along with networking events, they offer a job board, recruiting services, industry-specific networks, career workshops at more.

Contact your college to see what services are available to you.

3. Your Church

Churches can be a great place to network, especially if you’re actively involved in your church.

Depending on the size of your church, you could have access to hundreds or thousands of people who may either own a business themselves or know someone who is hiring. Pastors or priests may know of potential employers in the congregation as well.

Many churches offer services to help job seekers. Career counseling may be offered. Some churches even have job networks organized by church members that share job leads and assist with tasks like creating a resume.

The Church was designed so that believers could share their burdens with each other, which includes being out of work. Check to see what your church, or other local churches, offer as far as career services.

4. A New City

If you’ve been unemployed for several months, it may not be you. It may be where you live. Give a new city a try. A change of scenery may be just what you need, whether making a permanent move or extending your job search to a further commute.

If you make a move, establish a local address to improve your chances. Change your resume to reflect your new address.

You’ve probably looked at all of the job openings in your area dozens of times to no avail. Moving to a new city has a way of clarifying your goals around employment and gives you fresh eyes for the search. The new market gets to evaluate a fresh candidate, and that usually works to your advantage.

Check out Indeed’s list of the best cities for job seekers.

5. Your Own Website

If you’re having a hard time finding a job, why not do something to bring job offers to you? By creating your own website, you have a central online location to create a portfolio of your work, share your experiences and insights, post videos, and much more. Your website is like having an online resume. You can share your website with prospective employers, but it may also bring employers to you.

Opt for a WordPress.org website, so you have a self-hosted website instead of relying on another platform. Inexpensive hosting services are available from Bluehost and WP Engine. You’ll also need a domain name, which often comes free or at a reduced cost from hosting companies.

6. Social Media

Social media allows you to connect with almost anyone. Don’t just use them to look at your friend’s vacation photos. Use them to connect with potential employers and for networking.

Connect with people in your career field using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join Facebook groups related to your field as well. You don’t want to come right out and beg for a job in these circles. But there are ways to leverage the relationships you can form.

LinkedIn

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you should probably set that up as soon as you can. It’s a social media platform designed for professional networking, which is exactly what you need if you’re looking for a job. Here are some tips to get started if you’re not on LinkedIn yet or haven’t logged into your account in a while.

Update your profile: Most people only partially fill out their LinkedIn profile or never update it. Add a quality profile picture if you haven’t already. LinkedIn also allows you to choose from over 45,000 skills to add to your profile. Having a photo and skills listed is going to draw more attention to your profile.

Add recent experiences: Update your work history, recently added skills, education or career development experiences, and anything else that’s occurred recently. Potential employers want to see recent developments more than your old career history.

Update your headline: Your headline (what’s listed below your photo) is one of the only things people see when they search. Other than your name and profile picture, it’s how you grab someone’s attention on LinkedIn. Your headline should highlight what you do or what you are looking for in a career. Try to make it as clear and compelling as possible.

Use LinkedIn for research: People or companies can search to find you, but you can also do the same on LinkedIn. Use it as a tool to learn more about potential employers. Follow those companies to get news updates and see any job openings that are posted.

Make connections: Connect with other people in your industry, at companies you’re interested in, and others who may be beneficial in your job search. This leads to more exposure and more access to other connections. You can also import your email contact list to LinkedIn, which makes connecting with people you already know a breeze.

Related: 21 Online Job Search Sites to Find Your Next Job

7. Bulletin Boards

Have you ever noticed that some businesses you frequent have bulletin boards where patrons can post information? Examples are coffee shops and libraries. Most of us walk past without ever looking at what’s actually posted on them.

Next time you see one, take a look at it. Amidst the advertisements and event flyers may be a local job opportunity that’s been posted. Take advantage of the bulletin board yourself by pinning up a notice that you’re looking for a job. You could also pin your business card. It’s not a traditional way to find a job, but if you’ve exhausted those opportunities, why not branch out?

8. Referrals from People You Know

You may have a job lead already that you just don’t know about yet. Think about the people you know. Maybe it’s someone you used to know or worked with that knows about a job opening or is hiring themselves.

Make a list of former colleagues, clients, teachers, mentors, neighbors, and anyone else who may have connections that could help your job search.

Related: 30 of the Best Paying Freelance Jobs and How to Find One

9. The Gym

Have you ever thought of the gym as a place to network? People tend to be more relaxed at the gym and inclined to talk to people they don’t know. You’re sharing in the experience of working out and all the sweat and muscle soreness together.

You never know who is running on the treadmill next to you. They could work for a company that’s hiring or have connections that could be a home run for you. Spark up a conversation with some small talk first to see if they are open to talking while working out. Ask questions, and get to know them. Even if they can’t help you with a job, at least you’ll have another familiar face the next time you hit the gym.

10. Volunteering

There’s something about volunteering that brings people together. Think of a cause that you care about or upcoming local events looking for volunteer help. Sign up, show up, and be part of the team. Get to know other volunteers and staff. As they get to know you, they may be able to help in your job search. Plus, you get to escape your search and focus on something bigger than yourself for a while.

I wouldn’t volunteer specifically to network, but it’s a great side-benefit.

Where to Look Online for Jobs

As you continue your hunt for a job, take advantage of online job search websites. There are tons of job search websites with thousands of job listings. Not all job sites are equal. Here are some of the ones I find most helpful:

ZipRecruiter

One of the largest online job search engines, ZipRecruiter, should be your first choice for job leads when searching online. Accounts are free to set up with ZipRecruiter. They also have an excellent mobile app, and you can sign up for job notifications by text or mail. It’s searchable by location, keyword, and other factors. You’ll be able to weed out less desirable job listings so you can focus on ones that make sense.

Steady

Steady is a newer job search website. It’s set up differently than most job sites. The majority of listings you see won’t be for typical 9 to 5 jobs. What you’ll find are part-time jobs, work-from-home opportunities, and gig economy jobs.

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Depending on the type of work you do, this may not be super helpful in your job search. What it could do is provide opportunities for extra income while you are searching for a job or are in a job transition.

Other big job search websites to check out include Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed. Using available job search filters can narrow down your search among the thousands of job listings.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve looked for jobs? Let us know in the comments below.

Places to Find a Job
About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. CareOne Debt Relief Services says

    Fantastic ideas in this post!

  2. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says

    My favorite is random family/neighborhood BBQs. Definitely seems like the place to get job leads or secure a good job.

  3. 20 and Engaged says

    I would love to find a job in those unlikely places. I’ll keep my eyes closed.