No matter what your situation is – looking for a job, hoping for a better career, going back to school to boost your income – there is information available to make it happen. You just need to be what I’ll call a Job Detective.

It takes some savvy, some smarts and some plain-old dumb luck to be a good detective. (You remember Scooby Doo, don’t you?) In just one day, I stumbled upon a multitude of job-related resources, and I’m hoping to parlay some of it into higher wages for me – and, hopefully through example, for you as well Dear Reader.

The day started with my local news station. There was a broadcast about the nation’s jobless rate. It talked about how the unemployment rates is steadily declining, but that it has to drop just a little bit more to get consumer confidence and the stock market to respond. Okay.

Then I picked up my neighborhood newspaper. Local newspapers have job ads, but more and more reporters are delving into stories about regional job growth. Nationally, papers and magazines are picking up more on what industries are all about job creation…and those are clues that the economy is in a turnaround. This day, The Detroit Free Press (my big local paper) announced a huge series of articles about how to find a job. The first article talked about what areas are growing – and for my region, the big growth areas are automotive, batteries and healthcare. Good to know.

In the afternoon, I ran into the area Tae Kwon Do academy, which was having an open house. The owner expanded to nearly double the size, and I wanted a look at the place. I’m hoping my 5-year-old son could take classes there. While on the scene, I started chatting up another parent, who told me his Web site was looking terrible and wondering if he should upgrade it.

Next, I was surfing the television for something – anything! – to watch. I was frustrated with my children for refusing for the 413,245 time to go to bed…so I needed some veg time to get back on track. I stumbled upon a television show on the ABC News channel. The host of “The Job Club” focused on how to build your small business and took viewer questions. Those questions ranged from how to publish a book (read: royalties!), how to find a seamstress to produce a pajama line (read: manufacturing bucks!). I was fascinated…and starting to see a pattern emerge.

Every place I looked or visited or watched had a job lead in it. The radio story tells me that retail is going to be hiring soon – consumer confiding rising means more people will be shopping. So I could apply for something at my local Target or similar store. The newspaper ad reminds me that automotive hiring is picking up, so maybe my family’s background in the auto industry could lead me to a company that needs some help; I could look on LinkedIn to find a connection. The new Academy? Well, with all that new space, it might need more staff or even a cleaning woman! (Look, if I’m looking for work, I’m not above doing what it takes to make ends meet.) Finally, that ABC News broadcast has me thinking – again – about writing my Great American Novel.

What is happening around you today? Do you see signs of improvement that you could capitalize on? Do you see people who need help making their business grow? Are you hearing advice that could change the course of your life? It just takes some open eyes to see the potential around you. Let me know what you find!

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