Getting the job. Ready for hard work?
There was a story in the Globe and Mail entitled THE YOUNG AND THE JOBLESS. I feel for the young man featured in the story. He is trained in international relations, has lived abroad and is fluent in Spanish, yet he can’t find work and has just moved home with his mom and dad. This 25-year-old has been looking for a job for the last 3 months and has applied for about 50 jobs. Later in the same paper, there is a photo of people with placards that read, “We have a right to jobs.” I have to ask: Is anyone getting a job?
Darn parables - so true.
There is a parable about a hunter who, after four days of hunting, hasn’t trapped or killed a single animal.The hunter is frustrated and angry. He visits the wiseman of his tribe to ask for help and guidance. The wiseman asks, “Are there animals about?” The hunter must reply that there are animals. Not as many as before, but he knows there are animals. The wiseman nods his head and says, “The trouble is not with the animals.”
Getting a job, getting the job you want and deserve, is not simply a matter of reading the Want Ads. Indeed, what is required is soul searching until you have determined exactly what you want, why you should have it, and how you know you’ll be good at it...with examples to support your claims. Create your unique proposition and your personal brand. This is not different from how a service company must prove themselves while demonstrating value in a busy marketplace. Knowing what job you want, articulating what you want and what you do in a short 140 characters, backed up by a great, interesting, pertinent covering letter and a resume that provides the bare bones of who you are...We’ve gotten away from this kind of self-valuing. I wonder how many people actually know what they want – explicitly. Because if you know what you want, because it’s what you are best at, if you really and truly can see the job, the project, the company..in three dimensions...then you read, visit web sites and blogs to understand the issues and then you can communicate in your mutual interest. Provide some value. Demonstrate who you are.
Every opportunity you have – take it!
Imagine when a neighbour stops you on the street and asks you how you are: either you tell them how tough it is to find a job or you use this opportunity to share your 140 character description of what you want and why you're right for that kind of job.
Hopefully you have collected valuable contacts and now is the opportunity to connect with those people as well as those in your circle of influence. Again you use your 140 character description of what you want and why you are perfect for the job and here is where you ask if they know anyone you should be talking to. [If you’re not yet perfect for the job – this is the time to get some additional training, learning, courses.]This is a very different approach from sending out 50 resumes over three months as the fellow in the newspaper article did.
Getting a job is a marketing and sales proposition.
The Want Ads have always been a highly competitive way to get a job.I can remember one job posting that received upwards of 300 resumes. As we flipped through the covering letters and resumes, those that didn’t adequately tell the story of the strengths, the conviction, the personality, and special interests of the candidate – were put aside immediately.
What’s required here is some self-reflection, some visioning and revisioning, and then when you know what you want and what you're good at you can make a plan for networking, for research, for making contact with respect and interest (never with desperation or frustration). Getting a job is a research, marketing and sales proposition. Sounds like work? Are you prepared to invest in yourself?
Consider your unique proposition and your personal brand.
See the slides from my recent presentation on exactly this subject. click here. To advance, click on the slide.