Treat your job search like a. . .job search

Hiring, Uncategorized

There’ve been a few (very good) posts floating around lately about how to treat your job search:

like a wedding (I would never do this because then my mother would be intimately involved in my job search and that is no bueno)

like a marathon (This is a no-brainer, marathons are very hard and very long and involve spandex. Who besides Lance Armstrong wears spandex?)

like an advertising campaign (who’s paying for all this anyway?)

like it’s yogurt (wait, lemme guess, get some culture?)

like a zombie (well, that’s pretty cool.)

And if that helps you, great. But sometimes, it’s really important to treat your job search like a job search. I know that there are still a lot of people out of a job and sometimes the desire is to do the shiny thing, the new thing, the cool thing. Instead of these (very boring) things:

– Figure your shtuff out. So many job seekers wound up at their position unintentionally. They don’t really know how to manage but their job title has manager in it, so they think they need to look there. Nope. Figure out what it was you did at your last job and the job before that, figure out which of those things you actually liked doing and which you were good at and then write that out. That is your new job description.

– Go beyond what you think you know. Chances are if you can do your job satisfactorily, you can do a harder job with more responsibility even better. It takes hard work and a willingness to learn. Even (GASP!) on your own time. News flash people! Work doesn’t exist to educate you. Education exists to educate you. Work is where you do things for money and if you have a good work ethic, you do them well and you learn more things because you are not a moron and know that no job lasts forever.

– Figure out where you fit. Just because a company has 20 openings that you can accomplish doesn’t mean you should apply for them all. And just because another company where you would be a perfect match doesn’t have any openings at all doesn’t mean you should rule them out. I’ll tell you a little something about job boards for the job seeker. They make you lazy. When applying for jobs becomes as easy as turning on a light, then you show your ignorance by getting crazy in the candy store. Ask yourself: Where do I want to work? What do I want to do there? Am I qualified enough for that? How can I get them to pay attention to me?

-Be serious. If you don’t think it’s important enough to ask these questions of yourself, spend time crafting and recrafting your resume, customize a cover letter for every job and network for a few months, then why should a potential employer take you seriously? This is a big decision for both of you, although it frequently feels like the company holds all the cards. Taking your job search seriously involves invoking one of the oldest similes (cuz it’s the truest): Treat your job search like a job. Because it is one. You don’t find a job and work, you don’t get paid. The end.

-Determined, not depserate. I think parents have a bit easier time of it when it comes to job seeking. They know that no matter what, they HAVE to get a job, because even if they are willing to eat Ramen, there’s no way Junior’s giving up Fruit by the Foot. This is a powerful motivator. Well, that and the idea that your family might be living out of the leased minivan if you don’t step it up. So be determined by all means: to get that second interview, to follow up with a call, to explain how you’re the absolute best person for the job. But desperation is a fragrant thing, so keep it at bay by knowing ahead of time what you absolutely WILL DO to feed yourself and your family and what you WILL NOT DO. This way, if and when you accept a mid level position when you’re used to the C-Level, it won’t be desperate but an optional part of the plan.

Hmmm, as I read through this I know it sounds a little harsh. I’m sorry. I’m currently developing a crankypants series of blogs and this must be included.