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Image by Stuart Miles, via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you think about it, “openings” happen when someone quits, dies, or gets fired, and no one inside the company wants the job. How good can this “opening” be?!

Out of a hundred jobs, study after study has shown that only ten are ever advertised. So how do you get a chance with those other 90 jobs? You have to be proactive.

According to a Harvard study, 43.3% of unadvertised positions are actually created for the applicant*.

It may sound impossible, but I’ve helped many people make it happen. The key is knowing yourself, your target, and what you can bring to the table, as well as what kinds of companies are open to “possibility” interviews. Then, when you proactively meet with them, you’ll present yourself so well that you’ll leave them asking, “How can I make room for this person?” In fact, the vacancy myth extends to three “people problems” that all hiring executives have – sometimes they even have all three at once.

1. The Incompetent Employee: This is the person every other employee wonders about, thinking “how have they not been fired yet?!” The truth is that simply firing the person without anyone ready to take on their responsibilities isn’t the wisest decision for an employer. Creating a vacancy simply creates another problem (needing to fill another position). But employers are always looking for that right person to replace the incompetent employee with.

2. The Top Quality Person: Just as employers are looking for opportunities to replace incompetent employees, they look for opportunities to promote top performers. When they see that you can handle the job the top performer currently holds, they get a win-win scenario.

3. New Needs: Whether a company gets a new client or doubles their business, they often try to keep things floating with the employees they currently have. Being proactive helps you prove yourself worthy before they even consider a “vacancy.”

This should give you confidence that there really are needs for people even when there’s no “vacancy” advertised, and that a position could be created just for you!

If this topic interests you, check out my book From Roadkill To Roadmap.

*Per job research by Mark Granovetter of Harvard.