Warning: this turned out to be a harshly-worded rant. I would tone it down, but I’m passionate about the message.
In my speaking and my writing I’ve been known to refer to a “principle-based job search.”
Every once in a while someone asks what the heck I’m talking about. I’ll tell you 🙂
When I was in my job search I did what I thought was right. I spent time on my resume (doing it wrong), I spent tons of time applying to jobs online, I spent time avoiding networking events, because I was too good for that (I was convinced my resume would show how amazing I was).
My job search was NOT principle-based. It was based on assumptions, and whims, and outdated information.
Eventually, I went to a two-day job search workshop, and I learned about the principles involved in a job search.
And my entire job search, and my efforts, changed. It was a much-needed change. It was principle-based, goal-oriented (not “get a job,” but daily and weekly goals that moved me in the right direction).
I think one of the biggest reasons job seekers are not finding jobs (or, alternative income streams) is because they are doing the EASY stuff:
- “I applied to 20 jobs this week and heard nothing!” Dude, seriously, isn’t everyone telling you to NOT use the job boards?
- “I don’t have time to go to a networking meeting.” Of course you don’t You are focusing 90% of your time on what works for 5% of people (like I did. Look how that turned out for me.).
- “I don’t need help – I know what I’m doing.” Yep. Just like I did. For weeks I was spinning wheels.
- “To get unemployment insurance I only need to meet two new companies a week. The state says that’s a job search, so I’m doing alright.” No, you are just playing the game to get the crappy little pittance the state gives out to those who apply. You are telling me you will blame the state, and their standard, for your prolonged job search?
I’m reminded of Staple’s “Easy Button” campaign.
I see too many job seekers who I want it easy. They don’t want to spend too much time. They don’t want to get out of their comfort zone. They don’t want to do something hard or unusual (book recommendation: Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters). They don’t want to accept much responsibility for their actions or reactions (instead focusing blame on things outside their control, like THE ECONOMY!).
Let me put it this way.
JOB SEARCH IS NOT EASY.
CAREER MANAGEMENT IS NOT EASY.
Get over the easy button idea.
Get to work! Roll up your sleeves! Brush your teeth and put on nice clothes and get out of the freaking house, and go to networking events! Pick up the phone! You are not allergic to making phone calls! Get informational interviews!
DO THE RIGHT, PRINCIPLE-BASED STUFF!
And then, get better at it.
Get better at networking.
Get better at communicating.
Get better at informational interviews.
Get better at picking up the phone.
I got news for you: This is the new normal. Even after you land your dream job, you need to continue most of the job search stuff you are doing now, because your next transition could be right around the corner.
So get good at it, and get serious about it.
This, my friends, is called career management.
You’ll know you have “arrived” when you actually enjoy doing it.