There are really two types (at least) of job hunting. One is based on survival needs and the other is more of a journey to find one's calling. The latter will be covered more in depth in the next post. How do you know which is the right one for you? Basically the second type can't be done if you have no way of getting your food, shelter, and basic security needs met. So if you don't have unemployment insurance, personal savings or generous family and/or friends, this is the immediate step for you.
The important thing is to get employment at SOMETHING, as quickly as possible. The types of jobs to steer away from are only those in which you know you really can't do the work, and those which you believe would be harmful to your health.... this includes jobs where harassment, sexual or otherwise, is present.
The next thing is to sell yourself. Get recommendations/references from anyone who has hired you and could state that they would be happy to hire you again. Lawn mowing, baby-sitting and volunteer work are completely valid for this purpose. Tell everyone that you are looking for work. Use the resources which are available to you at no charge. This includes the Unemployment Security Commission in your state. Many of the state unemployment security commissions have free on-line or downloadable guides for job seeking, which are full of great advice for your job search.
One piece of advice which I have found invaluable as both an employer and an employee is the rule of the three A's. What an employer needs are as follows, IN ORDER:
1. Availability. You MUST be at work in order to do work, be prompt to work, if possible get to work 10 to 15 minutes early so you are completely ready to go when your shift starts.
2. Affability: Be respectful and cordial to your boss, your supervisor, your co-workers and the public. At the very least be civil. If someone is upsetting you on a regular basis, make sure you speak with your supervisor about this, this can help you make a plan to deal with the problem. Be willing to take direction and to do your best at your assigned task, be willing to help others out when it's appropriate.
3. Ability: That's right, your specific training and talents come in third. Basic reliability and social skills come before that. Besides at any job there is always a lot to learn and you will be expected to want to learn and to want to follow directions.
Another piece of advice which may be helpful. You only need one job (ok, in this economy maybe 2 or 3 at most). It becomes very discouraging to be either told that there is no work, or that you are not right for the job. One trick for dealing with this is to decide on a number of "no's" to collect each day. If you aren't collecting any no's, then you simply aren't trying hard enough.