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Search Your Own Backyard

Having been let go by a major hotel chain due to a decline in business, Lisa Stallman figured her next job would likely be in something other than the recession-pummeled hospitality industry.

In looking for a new job, Stallman, a two-decade veteran of hotel management, had the goal of staying close to home. One day while driving a street near where she lived, Stallman pulled into a parking lot of an office park and began jotting down the names of businesses in that location.

Then, Stallman went home and began to research those companies to see if they had any job openings. She looked into companies in fitness, book publishing and convention exhibits before calling a company that provides hot and cold beverages to offices.

The owner of the family-operated business spoke to Stallman several times before hiring her within a span of just two weeks. As a sales associate, Stallman uses her hospitality training and connections to win clients.

The job search may have been unconventional, but it worked. "It was a matter of going out and meeting my neighbors - businesses and people in our neighborhood - and letting them know I was looking for a job," she says. "It's great to be able to find one good opportunity not far from my front door."

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