There are so many people in this world doing jobs that they hate. The fact is, one of the biggest factors affecting your happiness (other than who you marry, but that’s a whole other topic) is your job. It’s where you will spend a majority of your time.

IMO, in order to be happy, you need to enjoy the work they do and make enough money to be comfortable. Some people sacrifice and find a job that will give them the salary that they need, but much happiness comes from getting a job you enjoy going to every day.

1. Don’t leave it up to chance

Many newspapers, websites and companies post jobs that are currently available. It is then up to the employer to select you out of the resumes they receive. You’re leaving too much up to chance.

Tap into the 80 percent of jobs are not advertised via formal methods. You may be wondering how you can find out about these jobs if they aren’t advertised, and the answer is networking.

2. Networking

Networking is about creating relationships with people. When applied to your job search, you want to focus on networking within your industry. Meeting as many people as possible in your industry should eventually lead to hearing about some job positions that are open, but not advertised yet. After all, posting jobs takes much more effort and costs more than simply hiring someone who is already known.

Networking for a job is part of the hidden job market (click here for a detailed definition). The hidden market is where the majority of jobs get filled and can move you to the front of the line for certain positions that few people know about. Companies and management want to protect what they have worked hard to build, so they are inclined to hire people they already know or were referred to them from someone they trust.

3. The two primary ways to directly contact employers and managers

There are two shortcuts to network with managers and professionals at the companies you want to work for if you have no personal connection. Take the time to email potential employers and managers to establish a relationship and see if they have any open positions. Make sure to establish a relationship, explain what you can bring to the company, and emphasize why you want to work with them. It’s is a great way to get your foot in the door.

You can also take the time to call potential managers and employers. You may have to start with an email to set-up a time to call back or have them call you, but getting them on the phone is key. A phone call is a great way to make a personal connection. Talking on the phone with someone feels much more personal than an email and creates an enhanced mental obligation to help.

What should you talk about on the phone? You should inquire about the job outlook with the company and discuss the same things that you did in the email. Also, ask about the person you are speaking with and be genuinely interested in them. People enjoy talking about themselves.

4. Be Proactive

pro·ac·tive – adjective: (of a person, policy, or action) Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after.

You can no longer just sit back and wait for jobs to come to you, you have to go out and get them. Networking and the hidden job market is a proactive way to search for a job instead of just sitting back and hoping that you get chosen out of a stack of resumes.

Advancements in technology have made it easier to apply to jobs, but that applies equally to everyone. Just always remember, the easier it is for you to find and apply to the position, the easier it will be for everyone else to. So use the hidden job market to find the positions that no one else knows about.