5 Unlikely Places to Find a Job

By the SMU Social Media Team

Have you exhausted every possible job board and still didn’t manage to land your ideal job? Tired of filling out online applications and cold emailing HR departments, only to receive zero responses?

Making your next big career move might seem like a daunting task, especially in the middle of a global pandemic and dismal employment rates.

But don’t give up hope—approaching your job search from a different angle might be all you need to start getting some decent offers.

Here are five unexpected places to look to land your next job.


Your own website

Regardless of your industry, having an online presence can make your job hunt easier—and no, we’re not just talking about LinkedIn here. Launching an online portfolio or website is a great way to bring your CV to life, while setting yourself apart from other competing candidates.

Employers are always on the hunt for talent that can add real value to their company, so you definitely want your website to show what you can contribute. Aside from displaying samples of your best work, research, or even community service projects, you should also include an About Me section, or even a short blog to showcase your thought leadership abilities. Consider sharing key interests, insights, and relevant experiences that highlight your expertise in your field of work.

Keep your website simple and straightforward, but don’t forget to add a personal touch to your homepage. A candid and honest approach is always best, and don’t be afraid to throw in the occasional humble brag. It is your page (and digital resume), after all.


Network connections


From family gatherings to special interest communities, you can find networking opportunities in even the most unusual of places.


Although hard work is still essential for moving up the corporate ladder, a strong network could be beneficial for giving your career a boost.

It’s important to continuously make new connections and nurture existing relationships you have formed with other industry professionals—in return, you could gain unexpected opportunities such as a referral or recommendation to your dream job.

So, how do you build a great network? Here are a few ways you can start:

  • Research and join niche industry networking events, some of which may be holding virtual events
  • Reach out to your professional contacts regularly, and provide value by helping to make introductions, sharing knowledge and resources, and even opportunities with fellow job hunters
  • “Find your tribe”—besides building an industry network, build relationships with people who share a hobby or passion

From family gatherings to special interest communities, you can find networking opportunities in even the most unusual of places.

Always be prepared to subtly but authentically pitch yourself when meeting new people. Talking about yourself might not come naturally to some, but you can start by formulating a compelling and concise answer to common questions like “what do you do?”. After which consider your strongest traits and genuinely believe in them to convey your story convincingly.


Former workplaces

Even an unpaid internship from your freshman year can be a goldmine for professional growth.

Re-engaging with co-workers from a former workplace to find job opportunities can give you the upper hand when applying to a new role, especially since colleagues and management already know you and what you’re capable of.

Plus, you would have a better understanding of what the organisation is like and how their processes work. You could even approach former bosses to politely sound out vacancies in their current departments.

However, some workplaces are best left in the past. If you’re re-applying to an organisation you’ve already worked for, it’s worth assessing why you left in the first place. Always weigh the short- and long-term benefits before going back and try to avoid workplaces where you left on bad terms.


At the wrong job


Take this time to diversify your skills and build a solid resume—chances are, you will be able to apply your learnings no matter where you take your career next.


Got an offer for a job that isn’t quite up your alley?

If you’re on the fence about a role that doesn’t tick all of the boxes, you may still want to consider taking it up.

Before rejecting any job offer, it is good practice to assess why you feel like it’s not the right role for you. But even if it’s not your “dream job”, keep in mind that achieving your goals doesn’t happen overnight.

You can still benefit from the experience, even if the role isn’t in the same industry as your target career. Take this time to diversify your skills and build a solid resume—chances are, you will be able to apply your learnings no matter where you take your career next.

Furthermore, this new job could widen your network considerably and lead to more relevant offers down the road.


Impactful volunteer work

Participating in non-profit or charitable work can help you gain work experience, while also contributing to a good cause.

Think about how you can apply your own knowledge and expertise to make an impact. For example, you could help organisations develop Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnerships to support issues which matter, or create digital marketing strategies to raise awareness and funds for a cause you believe in. Along the way, you might even end up expanding your professional network and skillset.

Find that intersection between your passion and purpose. By working for a non-profit or charity, you can build experience, create industry connections, close employment gaps, and maybe even change the world.

With all that said, pursuing a new career amidst this global pandemic may seem daunting—even downright exhausting. But when it comes to job hunting in the current environment, there are still lots of options open to you, if you keep your end goal in mind and think outside the box!


Did you know that SMU graduates consistently rank top in starting salaries and employment outcomes in Singapore? Find our more about our undergraduate programmes today!