I have a good piece of advice – stop looking for a job. Yes, you read that correctly – structuring one’s activities around trying to land a job increases one’s frustration level, as well as the likelihood almost every day will end in failure.
Those in search of a “job” are constantly throwing away opportunities to meet more people, to increase their visibility, and to position themselves as a solution to an employer’s problem – instead of a problem in search of a solution. Job seekers look for openings, and if they find none, they have nowhere else to turn.
Or they find an opening and then cast it off (it’s too far away, it doesn’t pay enough, they want someone with more education/experience, they know someone who worked there and they didn’t like it) the self-imposed roadblocks continue to foil any possibility of succeeding.
My recommendation: Structure every action you take around a more rewarding goal – to get an interview. Ideally, one should strive to have 20-30 interviews a week. “ It can’t be done,” you might be thinking, “I keep sending out my resume and no one calls me.” It’s time you retire your outdated definition of an interview as something that happens to you as a result of an employer reading your resume and giving you a call.
Proactive job seekers know an interview is any conversation with anyone about their profession, industry or target list of companies and the skills, and experience and knowledge. These are conversations they initiate to gather and share information. What kind of information?
Information About Your Profession
What are the current trends in your profession? What skills are currently in high demand? What training or education is required to remain marketable? What is a realistic wage for someone with your skills and experience in the geographic region where you are targeting your search?
Information About Your Industry
What changes are taking place in your target industry? Are employment opportunities on the rise, or is the industry becoming obsolete? How does the Internet and/or globalization impact your industry? Who are the industry leaders – and industry lagers?
Information About You Target Companies
What are their products or services? Who are their competitors? How long have they been in business? What is their current financial status? Are they growing or laying off? What are the current issues they are struggling with and their goals and objectives for the coming year? What are the people like that work there and what is the company culture?
What is their organizational structure and does it include the kinds of positions you would be interested in? What is their pay scale and what is included in a typical compensation package? What is their hiring process?
Information About Your Marketing Strategy
Does your resume accurately reflect who you are, what you do and what you can do for an employer? Are your marketing letters about you and what you want/need or are they about the prospective employer and what you can do for them? Are there companies you can add to your target list of employers or people you can include in your network of contacts? Do you have strong answers prepared for typical interview questions?
If a job is really all you want (and the answers to these questions are irrelevant), I can get you one today. But I sense you want more – you want a rewarding career that satisfies your personal interests, abilities, and values.
Structure your daily activities around getting interviews and gathering information. I guarantee every day you will go to bed satisfied that you met your goal. Stop asking about openings and start asking for information instead. (Most people love sharing information, and appreciate that you are not asking them for a job.)
Stop waiting for interviews and find people to you can talk to. The more people you talk to, the more visible you become. Employers prefer to hire people they know. Become known and opportunity will knock on your door because of your efforts.
The vast majority of employment opportunities were never really “openings” advertised to the masses. They came about because an individual in control of their own career communicated who they are, what they do and what they can do for an employer – and they were heard and appreciated.
Make interviewing your number one goal – a new job is waiting to unfold.
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