I just completed the apprentice training program for Cook County Illinois in construction. Now I find I am having a problem in entering the field as an apprentice. Everyone I contact says they have no openings. Can you help and point me in the right direction?

Unfortunately, I do not have any direct contacts in the construction field. However, one of the first rules of networking is that you NEVER ask directly for a job. The idea is to build relationships to create opportunities.

So I might suggest you begin to try to talk to people in the business with the purpose of gathering information from those experienced in the field. (There is an excellent series of articles on power networking and informational interviewing on this website.)

Ask their advice about who you might contact, what you need to succeed, etc. Think about other types of companies that might accept apprentices and work toward uncovering the one opportunity that will be a fit for you.

The key is to work smarter and stay focused. You might also check with the school you attended to see if they can offer assistance.

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