Every now and then I come upon a blog post or article that says exactly what I want to say only better. This excellent post on Career Realism does exactly that. It’s as though the blogger has been listening to me talking to my clients!
A gentleman contacted me recently who had been running a small IT department for several years. His company had announced that everyone’s hours were being cut and layoffs were coming. He had been looking for jobs, applying to anything and everything that he felt qualified for. In an effort to connect with as many employers as possible, he had applied to over 200 job postings, but had yet to get a single response. Feeling frustrated and concerned, he wanted me to give him feedback on what he was doing wrong. After a brief discussion, I learned he hadn’t completed the strategic phase of his job search and explained that until he did so, he would continue to have dismal results. He immediately became defensive, “That’s ridiculous. I’m about to lose my job and need another one to pay the mortgage. The last thing I should be doing is taking my time figuring out who I am and what I want. It’s simple: I need a job. That’s it.”
I talk to these people too. They are in such a hurry that they don’t think they have time to do any groundwork. But this is a trap. If you’re in a hurry – SLOW DOWN! Just for a week or two, Take time to figure out who you are, what you have to offer and who can use you what you have to offer. By doing this you’ll actually speed up your job search in the long run. Check out the 5 questions suggested by this blogger (I’d love to say his or her name but I can’t because they are blogging under a pseudonym and I don’t know who they are).
“What are some examples of how you are more successful than others in your field with similar experience?”
“How do you use your professional strengths to add money to an employer’s bottom line?”
“What industries or professions that could make good use of your skills in this economy?
“What are your minimum job requirements and how have they affected your approach to your job search?”
“Who are the companies you really want to work for and why?
Excellent questions! Answer those and you’re well on your way to knowing which companies and positions you should be targeting and exactly how you can help those companies achieve their business goals.