Find a job when you are new in town and don't know anyone? How? I wrote this article in 1997 and it's still a good way to find employment. This actually makes looking for work a fun part of the day.
Breakfast Out Leads to Jobs
You show up in a small town of a few hundred people, in a very rural area, with no local contacts and no prior job arrangements. Where do you go to look for work and what kind of work is available?
Our experience shows a good place to start is the local cafe – the greasy spoon, hometown coffee shop, or family run diner. We find many small towns have a local restaurant that serves as the town’s gathering point. It is a hub of activity and information.
Frequently these cafes are the home of the morning coffee club, an informal daily gathering of whatever local men show up for coffee or breakfast. We’ve learned that these discussion groups can provide job leads, contacts, and referrals.
The local cafe, in the town where we are spending a few weeks before moving south, hosts such a group. As in most cases, it is not an official club. They sit at a long table in the center of the cafe and if that fills, they sit at nearby booths. They come and go as their schedules or whims indicate, and the conversation carries on, occasionally backtracking a bit to get the late comers caught up to date.
This particular bunch refers to themselves as "The Liar’s Club," because, as often as not, they are telling tall tales and ribbing one another, rather than discussing something "worthwhile."
However, under the good natured harassing and joking that goes on, much information can be gleaned about what the community has to offer.
Last week at breakfast, we sat enjoying the banter and news sharing of the men who had gathered. One of the big topics was that the local sand and gravel company was looking for someone to operate a dozer.
The work involved running a new machine, with a cab, moving piles of sand. They needed someone to work a month and a half to two months, working five or six days a week. It appeared that the job had been available for some time and that the traditional means of filling it had not brought in a suitable applicant.
The announcement was made, not by a representative of the company, but by a local who somehow or another was aware of the position. It was not necessary to eavesdrop to overhear about this job opening. The nature of the gathering is to make everyone there who wants to be a part of things a part of the conversation.
The next day, it was announced that "so and so" had gone out and gotten the job. The focus of the conversation was on how it paid $10.00 an hour and was for a job that demanded very little physical or mental work, and only one person had even inquired about it. This man, it seems, had no experience on operating heavy equipment, but was hired anyway. His main qualification? He showed up and asked for the job!
This talk about jobs lead to another man telling about how he needed someone to help with his peanut harvesting and fall farm work. The other fellows were giving him a hard time, asking him how he expected to get anyone to work for $7.00 an hour when the sand and gravel company had difficulty finding someone to work for $10.00 an hour.
[Keep in mind these wages were offered in 1997. The federal minimum wage was $4.75 an hour that year, until September, when it was increased to $5.15 an hour.]
Click here to read the rest of this article, including tips on how to find a job while enjoying breakfast at the local cafe. on the next page.