Asheville NC Jobs
Employment Search and Entrepreneurial Resources for Western North Carolina
The reasons to live in the Asheville and Western North Carolina are almost as diverse as the people who choose to make these mountains their home. Whatever your reason for living here, you will, unless you are retired or independently wealthy, need to find sustainable employment to afford to live within a reasonable distance of downtown Asheville.
For many, finding employment in the Asheville job market is a difficult task. Unless you have the education and training required to get a job in the health care industry, your options will most likely be limited to the tourism and hospitality industry or the growing industrial manufacturing sector. For many the solution to the weak jobs market is self-employment. In Asheville self-employment takes many forms ranging from real estate sales to consulting to art and the healing arts. Although many of these entrepreneurs are very successful, others find it difficult to keep up with the high cost of living of the Asheville area, which is among the highest in either North or South Carolina. For more information on the Asheville jobs market, check out this September 2006 article from the Mountain Xpress: An Honest Day's Pay.
Stay Positive, Asheville Jobs Can be Found
Don't let Asheville's gloomy employment outlook discourage your dreams of permanent residence in Western North Carolina. The benefits of the Asheville lifestyle greatly outweigh the challenges of finding a job here. Also, because of the abundance of entrepreneurs in the area, several extremely useful support resources have developed to meet the needs of small business owners and the self-employed. The following sections will cover the key steps to preparing for your job search, as well as more information about the entrepreneurial and job hunting resources available in the area. AshevilleNow wishes you good fortune in your challenging, but highly rewarding search for Asheville employment.
Keys to Job Search Success
1. Know your strengths and what you want.
The first step in finding a desirable career, is taking a moment to take stock of your weaknesses and strengths. Get out a piece of paper and write down a list, ask yourself:
- What are my greatest strengths, where do I shine?
- What are my greatest weaknesses, where could I use some improvement?
- How can I capitalize on my strengths?
- How can I overcome my weaknesses?
- How can I leverage my weaknesses to my advantage?
It helps to write these ideas down because they are no longer ideas floating around in your head, but instead concrete admissions staring you in the face. It allows you to be brutally honest with yourself, and while you are at it you should also write down:
- Ultimate Career Goals
- Yearly Goals
- Financial Goals
- Relationship Goals
- Career Goals
- Recreation Goals
- Physical Goals
- Mental or Spiritual Goals
This is a powerful visualization technique and will help you to align these aspirations to work together and also gives you a yearly benchmark to come back to for reevaluation. Most importantly, by writing down these goals you increase the probability that they will come to fruition. This is all an exercise in putting your mind where you want it to be. Once you have an idea of what you want you can now search for a job that not only pays the bills, but also offers joy and fulfillment to your life.
2. Have realistic expectations for the Asheville job market.
Asheville can be city of extreme job success, and it can also be very frustrating due to the relatively narrow job market that focuses on several key markets; namely health care, manufacturing/construction, and hospitality/leisure. In looking for a job in Asheville you must realize that if you don’t fall into the above listed job categories then you will likely have to settle for lower salaries than those found in other parts of the country. Residents who live here make a sacrifice of lower wages, considered by many to be a small price to pay for the opportunity to live the Asheville lifestyle. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to make the sacrifice and whether it is worth it to you. For many of us it most certainly is!
3. It’s not necessarily about what you know, but who you know. Networking is the key.
Some people develop the belief that a degree is the stepping stone to finding the job of their dreams. Those people are partially correct in the fact that a degree bestows certain technical savvy and cognitive skill sets that allow one to analyze and critically think. These are skills that are desirable to employers and can greatly aid an employee. However, this doesn’t lay out the red carpet and guarantee a job in Asheville because in this area especially, many of the jobs aren’t posted anywhere and are filled completely through networking and referrals. Meeting influential people in your field and related fields, as well as calling potential employers to see who is accepting resumes are both key steps in getting connected into the unlisted Asheville job market.
4. Allow yourself a financial buffer or start job-hunting before moving to Asheville.
Because many Asheville jobs aren’t listed and making the necessary contact in your field takes time it is important to give yourself a 6-9 month financial buffer when moving to Asheville. This may seem difficult but is most ideal in staving off unnecessary stress and gives you the option to not jump on the first offer out of necessity. If you know of an impending move several months ahead of time then get started early by calling potential employers and informing them of your upcoming move. Ask if they are accepting resumes and if they know of anyone else in their field that might be hiring. Probing questions such as these are easy and besides, what do you have to lose by asking?
5. Consider self-employment as an option.
Self-employment is not only a viable option but sometimes the right option in a town that has many unfilled niches and a competitive existing market. Asheville is a hot bed for the entrepreneurial spirit, in fact it has been recently determined that local entrepreneurs generate approximately half of Asheville's business revenue.
6. Finding a Job takes effort, be proactive.
In a market where there are generally more qualified applicants than new jobs, it often requires a little more effort to get momentum in your job search. Sometime you happen to be in the right place at the right time or are very lucky, but for most of us it is not always a good idea to bank on these occurrences. Therefore, being proactive is the true key to success. This is important to understand and to adopt. A good place to start is:
- Visit the Chamber of Commerce, which can provide a list of employers in your field. Also be sure to inquire about any clubs and organizations for the purpose of networking.
- Newspapers are also a good starting point to locate potential employers and organizations.
- Get out the local phonebook even, and peruse its pages for businesses in your area of expertise.
- The internet, if used correctly can sometimes be a viable search option for businesses in the area that you believe pertain to your skill set. Searching for those “business categories” and not merely “employment” can be helpful.
- Once you have a list, contact each one to inquire about employment and get your name out in the right circles.
- If you attended college or a university, contacting alumni services and asking them about what help they can offer is a good plan of action. Also, ask if there is a regional alumni club in your area to network with.
No matter how much success you have always remember to focus on the process and not the outcome, because seeds planted now may prove to fruit in the future. Getting discouraged by a little setback accomplishes nothing, but learning from that setback accomplishes everything.
Job Skill and Entrepreneurial Resources
A-B Tech Small Business Center
The A-B Tech Small Business Center is an excellent resource for those trying to start their own business in the Asheville area. Services include one-on-one counseling, workshops and seminars, referrals to other local business resources, and a library of training materials including videos.
Employment Securities Commission (ESC)
North Carolina’s ESC offers information pertaining to taxes, business licenses, labor market statistics, and links to various other state and regional employment resources.
Score strives too educated and guide entrepreneurs in order to achieve their goals as small business owners. Their volunteers are professionals and former professionals who have knowledge in a wide range of business development areas.
Buncombe County Mountain Area Job-Link
A valuable resource offered by the county government that offers a listing of government jobs, tips for job seekers, a list of job training and workshops, labor market information and much more.
Mountain BizWorks, formerly Mountain Micro Enterprise Fund, is a non-profit company that offers an 8-week business planning course, training, and affordable loans to local entrepreneurs.
Useful resource for resume writing, online profile creation tips, job outlook information, and interviewing skills, but not effective for finding local jobs in the Asheville area.
Local and Regional Job Search Resources
Rapidly growing site with a fairly broad list of local and regional jobs. Jobs listed include health care, numerous administrative positions, manufacturing, transportation, municipal positions, and numerous other entry level corporate jobs.
Jobs listed in the MountainXpress are current and cover a broad range of categories with lots of listings in the food service and human services categories. Also lists a wide range of temporary positions.
Monster.com Asheville Jobs
Local, regional and national listings can be found on Moster.com. Not always a reliable source for the local job market, but occasionally a few gems show up.
Iwanna.com Asheville Jobs
Jobs listed in the Asheville area. With its popularity and widespead use, Iwanna is able to offer some of the most current job listings available in the Asheville area. They don't break it down very well by category but are still a great resource. Users update the Iwanna frequently.
AshevilleJobs.com by LocalJobs.com
This site lists Asheville jobs in a wide range of job categories including health care, administration, tourism, sales, accounting, manufacturing, and customer service. Very user friendly and with audio visual help functionality to make site use easy for all.
City of Asheville Jobs
Job listings posted by the Human Resources Department of the City of Asheville. A wide range of city jobs can be found such as parks and recreation, civic center positions, engineering, and public safety.
Hendersonville NC Jobs
Hendersonville NC Jobs offers a continually growing resource for jobs in Henderson County, NC. They offer twitter updates with postings, tips and resources for the seeker on the go. They also provide resume and website services for both job seekers and employers looking to stand out.
CareerBuilder.com Asheville Jobs
Local, regional and national listings can be found on CareerBuilder.com. Not always a reliable source for the local job market, but occasionally a few gems show up.
Craigslist.org Asheville Jobs
From the Craigslist homepage you have jobs that mostly are related to this area broken down by category. Jobs are posted daily and it is very easy and intuitive to use. Craigslist seems to cover the gamut of Job listing possibilities.