(MoneyWatch) If you're looking for work and need reassurance that there are really jobs out there, read on. Here are four unusual ways job-seekers found great new gigs.
Going to someone else's reunion. "My mother couldn't go to her 25th reunion two years ago. I was studying at Wittenberg University at the time and went in her place. I wore a name tag with her maiden name and met many of her classmates. Among the attendants was Elizabeth Nickol, whose family founded All-American Clothing. The conversation led to an interview, then an internship and eventually a job." --Logan Beam, Arcanum, Ohio, director of marketing and communications, All American Clothing Co.
Bartending. "Throughout my high school and college years I worked in the bar industry. The last bar I worked at was a beer garden in downtown Austin. I requested weekday lunch shifts even though they made less money, because all the business professionals came in. I would spark a conversation with patrons, first talking about their day, football, beer -- anything to establish similarities and a comfort level. Once I felt we connected I'd begin asking what they did, then start talking about my situation and that I was graduating college soon. Although I never expected anything out of it and I simply like talking to people, I received countless business cards, email addresses and resume requests. This tactic landed me a marketing internship for Volusion, an Internet start-up company. After three months, I got asked on full-time and am now in the career I used to only dream about when closing the bar at 4 a.m." --Reed Daw, Austin, Texas, SEO associate at Volusion, an e-commerce company
Touring with a band. "I'm the manager and bassist for a band called The Slants. After spending a few years building a fanbase (and running complex marketing campaigns), I caught the attention of a college in Oregon that was looking for someone with a unique grasp on digital marketing. I showed how I took a brand new brand -- my group -- to international levels of attention within a few months and no marketing budget to speak of, just by finding the right message and audience. These days, I still run digital marketing for a college, while working my nights and weekends job as a musician." --Simon Tam, Portland, Ore., freelance digital and social media marketing specialist
Looking for pizza. "I was home on spring break and was planning to order a pizza for lunch. I opened the phone book to M and it happened to fall under 'Marketing/companies.' On a whim, I called several companies. The third wa] BrainStorm Group. I spoke with my future boss. As it turned out, they just happened to be interviewing for three entry-level marketing positions the next day. Two months later I got a call from the president the day before graduation. --Mike Kennedy, Northboro, Mass., director of marketing at employee analytics software company Talent Analytics