Finding a job is not easy. A lot of jobs are not advertised in newspapers or online, but on shop windows, notice boards, or by word of mouth. Develop a plan, ask around, and start your search early. You will need to be proactive to find a job.

Search for work at the right time: During December you might find seasonal work, but finding a permanent position could be difficult. Many people look for work at the beginning of the year; people who only had temporary employment over the holidays as well as recent matriculants and graduates. However, many companies are also looking for new employees. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find an opportunity immediately, finding a job takes time.

Where to find opportunities:

1. You can find jobs offline:

  • On noticeboards in shopping malls, community centres, schools, colleges or universities.
  • You can ask for help at your nearest job or community centre.
  • Look in the local newspapers in the employment or classified sections.
  • Ask people you know for help and advice. Maybe someone in your community knows about a job opening.

2. You can also find jobs by using the internet:

  • Go onto companies’ websites and look under ‘vacancies’ - remember to check it often for updates or subscribe to the company’s mailing list
  • Look on career websites, such as careers24, careerjunction, ngopulse, pnet and jobmail
  • Email employers and ask to be put on their database for future job openings. Tip: Do your research beforehand to show you are prepared and not wasting anyone’s time. Know who to address - the employer's name - and what part of the company you are interested in e.g. Marketing department.
  • Search keywords on Google, for example, if you are looking for a job as a cashier, try words like “job”, “career”, “cashier Soweto”, “cashier cape town”. Including your location helps Google to narrow down your results.

3. You can register at your local Job centre or contact a recruitment agency.

4. Volunteer, most work experience opportunities expose you to networks that may offer you a job in future.

5. Network and find a job through employee referral. Employee referral is an internal method of recruitment organisations use to get potential candidates from their current staff and people they know. The bigger your network, the higher your chances of being referred. For more details on how to network, click here.

6. Register on JobStarter and complete our online learning. You will be entered into our database, for employers to search when they have new job openings.

Tips to help you succeed:

  • Get your CV ready: You need to have your CV ready to help you match your skills, experience, and interests to the job advert. It will make the application process easier.
  • Know what you are looking for: Create a wishlist of companies and opportunity providers that are in your area, where you would like to work, or in what industry you would like to work. Check their websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts often. But you cannot sit back and wait for these employers to have opportunities, you will also need to look for other options.

The best way for you to find work is to be proactive, by taking action and responsibility for your career. Develop your professional identity and start building your network. The more options you use to put yourself out there to find job opportunities, the higher your chances of getting a job.

Next Step: Learn how to identify a job scam.