How Did You Get Your Job?


Landing a job these days — whether you’re fresh out of school or have decades of experience — can take a lot of time and effort. There are more than a few ways to find a job, from answering ads to networking. How did you get the job you’re at now?

AOL Jobs has a chart of the four basic ways to get job leads, but some people go out of their way with more unusual tactics to get their jobs (for example, when the position is out of their league). What’s your story?


  • one of the few times i can say uni was actually great, final year major project for a real world client with a end of year expo with most everyone, locally, in the industry invited, landed a job as a direct result.

  • Answered a job ad. It has always worked well for me as a finance person with very strong Excel skills.

  • Also answered a job ad. Not particularly attractive here. I’ve always had to more-than-earn every chance I’ve gotten because of the non-ornamental aspect.

  • I applied for a soul-destroying, entry-level administrative job in a large organisation, and talked to/made friends with the IT teams from day 1.

    Getting chummy with people in other departments isn’t as naff as it sounds. You meet new people in your company (and maybe gain new friends), you learn about other teams and their ways of working, and you learn about technology in general.

    They’re also more likely to keep you abreast of new positions, particularly if they know you’re interested. That was how I moved from mail-girl to infrastructure development within a few years. It’s not wildly impossible.

  • Apart from the first job (at David Jones, big mistake), every other job has been via SEEK. I didn’t even know what my current job entailed until I came for the interview (I caption TV shows). I also wasn’t hired first time around – they called me after three weeks because someone was leaving, so they offered me the job.

  • The two long-term jobs I’ve had I got through temp work. I was temping as a short-term solution that gave me a bit of freedom to change my plans at short notice, and my bosses offered me a permanent role. Some places won’t do this, because of the fees that temp agencies charge in those circumstances, but larger organisations often have arrangements with their agencies to reduce or eliminate fees. Quite a few of the companies I’ve worked for have used temp/contract positions as a way to bring new people in without committing to keeping them until they’re sure.

  • The best job advice I’ve ever heard was to take the skills you have, and apply them in the field you’re interested in or passionate about. For example, I know an accountant who loves the theater so after some searching they got a job doing the books for a circus troupe. It isn’t always easy, but I’m told it will lead to much higher job satisfaction.

    So how do you get these jobs? Networking. From what I understand most people in hiring positions would much prefer to hire someone who comes on a recommendation from someone they trust (making you somewhat of a ‘known’ quantity) as opposed to going through the laborious and time consuming process of hiring an outside applicant.

    I’m going to do this by taking my skills (currently studying Bachelor of Education – Secondary) and combine it with my passion – travel. How? By taking the right courses and getting the right experience before I graduate so I can travel the world teaching at international schools.

    Here’s where the advice came from:

  • I can say with all honesty, I got my job by applying for the wrong job.

    I applied for a librarian traineeship position at my current place of employment. As I walked through the door, the person running the interview asked if I was here about the IT job. I said yes, thinking she’d just made a mistake.

    I got interviewed, got a second round interview then got told I was over qualified for the IT trainee position, so they just gave me the full time job instead. 6 years later, I’m still here and ironically, have just been merged in with the library team, so I’m learning library stuff anyway!

    • Same here. Applied for a Graduate job (public service) after going back to Uni for a Masters-level qualification in a new field.

      Told that I was ‘overqualified’ (paranoia about my age kicking in around… now) and that I should apply for a higher level job. So I did what I was told (at the same agency) and they promptly gave me the job!

  • Through SEEK, though I would recommend giving temp work a go for anyone looking for permanent employment. Even if that doesn’t lead to a permanent position, it’s great for building skills, gaining contacts and up to date references, and just earning enough cash to get by until you land a permanent position.

  • Through friend recommending me, never thought i’d be in the ICT industry tbh, however I wish I was doing web/graphic design instead. Applied a few times in that industry and have never been given a chance even though I’m good at it – No certs you see.

  • I think the best advice I followed to get my job is that you should target employers you want to work for. Obviously this involved varying degrees of patience but if you want a job with an employer you would love to work for you need to play the waiting game.
    To get ‘any’ job is easy, to get ‘the job’ you’re after forget seek etc, and go directly to the employers site and get yourself known to the HR. Follow up periodically with updates about your circumstances / updated resume / accreditation’s etc. Don’t be spammy keep contact spread out and always have a purpose to your emails like I mentioned, with the actual intent of keeping you in their sights.
    Hopefully you can get an interview as soon as there is a position available. The rest is up to you. I’ve noticed that great employers will also encourage you to reapply if you fail the interview, this is a great thing as most people will write you off. Take the 3-4-6 months to focus on improving your skills hopefully based on informed feedback.

  • Did a 3 minute “Lighting Talk” at the 2013 PhunConference in Sydney (at the Google HQ) – a month later, got head-hunted by my now-manager who saw my talk, and loved what I had to say 🙂

  • I got my job by volunteering and a healthy dose of good luck. I went down to my local library and inquired about volunteering. When asked why I wanted to volunteer, to which i replied I was looking for work (mainly in the library area) and needed to pad out my resume. 2 weeks later I was doing some casual relief work and a month or two after that the guy who had been doing the majority of casual work around the library moved away to look for work interstate and since then I’ve had 40 hours most fortnights.

    And hopefully in a couple of months I’ll be on contract full time to cover another employees maternity leave.

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