Points of Failure in your Job Search

Last week a JibberJobber user told us some of his email2log emails where NOT becoming Log Entries.  We paused everything and looked for the bug.

I hated this bug. This is one of the main reasons people upgrade, and I want people to feel confident using JibberJobber.  If the trust level goes down, people use it less, and don’t want to upgrade.

I loathed this bug. So we stopped other stuff to look for what we knew would be an elusive, or what I used to call a “ghost” bug.

When something happens like this we typically ask the user a number of questions to understand exactly what they did when the error occurred.  This includes what browser are you on (most problems are with Internet Explorer users.  There’s a reason tech savvy people call Internet Explorer -> Internet EXPLODER), Mac or PC, etc. We’re trying to figure out where the root problem is.

It could be anywhere from your seat (that is, YOU (aka, user error)) to your mouse configuration to your internet speed or connection to your OS or browser.  It could have to do with the points of the internet between you and the server and back to you.  It could have to do with our server, whether the hardware or the system load or, what we can easiest find and fix, software logic on our end.

There are easily a dozen potential points of failure… finding the culprit is part of a process that can be tedious, especially if we focus too much time in the wrong place.

Think about this in your job search.  Think about you (unemployed) and getting a job (the end result).  Where are the “points of failure?”

You could have the most amazing background, resume, and even interviewing skills, but if you have bed head, wrinkled clothes and bad breath you might not have any luck getting jobs or introductions to network contacts.

You could pay thousands of dollars for a great resume but be a complete jerk who no one wants to be around, work with or talk to.

Or, you could be the most amazing person around with a horrid resume because you refuse to pay a few hundred dollars for a resume expert (aka, your personal marketing expert) to make your resume match your awesomeness.

See the different points of failure in your job search?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Identify the points of failure in your job search. I listed a half dozen above.  If you are in a job club you can probably sit with your peers and list 100 points of failure in a job search.
  2. Make sure you are not focusing on the wrong one(s). You can spend weeks and months focusing on the wrong issue.  You might think throwing money at one point of failure will make up for deficiency in another.  If you can’t identify the point of failure that you need to work on (I’m talking about root issues, not symptoms) you will always be stuck, and get frustrated that what you are focusing on is not altering the results!

Here’s an example of job seekers focusing on the wrong thing.  As I travel and speak at job clubs across the U.S., I find lots of people who are completely hung up about age discrimination.  They are focusing on this barrier that they have little control over, and blaming their failed job search on age discrimination.

At the same time they are ignoring other things that are more likely their real point of failure.

I know age discrimination is a problem – I’ve written about it regularly.  I talk about it regularly.  But you need to step back and see if there are other problems that you need to address, and that you have influence over.

There are old people getting good jobs, right?  Maybe your problem has more to do with a different point of failure than something easy to blame (as real and as frustrating as it is).

In closing, I’m embarrassed to say that we even had this issue with my favorite JibberJobber feature.  It has really been bugging me since we found out about it. But late last night when my developer reported that he found and fixed it (and, he fixed the root issue by writing a filter to NOT let anything go to the spam box anymore), I slept really, really good last night!

What point of failure are you not figuring out?

5 thoughts on “Points of Failure in your Job Search”

  1. The thesis of your blog is pretty much spot on. I don’t think people think systemically when it comes to marketing themselves…..they RFP chase as opposed to being systemic in identifying goals, charting the course, and then staying after this. I was at conference last week and we all agreed that when working on a complex project, you have to go slowly at first to get your infrastructure and processes in place before you can go REALLY, REALY FAST.

  2. Really good point, Jason – one failing can derail the whole thing. I kept thinking “Feedback, they gotta get feedback!” Job seekers should be asking people to evaluate their everything about their job search. They should ask friends, job club buddies, coaches, maybe search firm recruiters (but *not* expecting anything from interviewers!).

    And why do so many people seem to think interviewing is an inborn skill, or that it can’t be taught / coached?

  3. It’s frustrating not knowing what you did or said that made the difference. I’ve asked and gotten blase answers which reinforced that it probably would not have been a good fit. Spring is a great time to reassess, refresh, and rejuvenate your job search. (Alliteration is one of my things.)

  4. Darlene… LOL :p I like alliteration!

    There are a lot of frustrations and one of the biggest is the barrier to getting real feedback. I remember at one company, if someone called to ask if someone was employed (and more questions – you know, doing an employment history check), we were really not allowed to say anything. I think it was a liability issue… but it’s not helpful to the person looking for a job!

    On the other hand, giving feedback to a job seeker could be really hard. You have bad breath, you don’t dress well, your answers were the worst of the group, etc. (that’s not directed at you, obviously)

    Yes, you can reword any of those and take the sting out but it’s hard to be the “bad guy.”

    Sometimes, though, the bad guy is what people need. No one else is being honest with them, and you helping them could solve THE problem that is holding them back, right?

Comments are closed.