It might be nice – albeit less interesting – if job hunters interviewed successfully once and kept that role for the balance of their life. The reality for most is different.
The truth of the matter is that most of us over the years end up kissing lots of frogs –warts and all – to find roles that work well for us. No trying, no finding.
What’s been outlined in this nine-part series is a set of steps, a methodology if you will, that improves the chances of finding a job that works well for you. It is not a magic bullet: rather like common sense keeping in-shape advice (get plenty of sleep, get regular exercise, and maintain a healthy diet), it generally works.
The unfortunate state though is we all crave for those magic bullets to make it easy. And like our childhood stories of the Easter Bunny, the Great Pumpkin and Santa Claus (who my son Traylor informs me all live in the North Pole), those magic bullets mostly don’t exist.
You can significantly increase your odds at getting hired, however, and it means having the perseverance and discipline to stick to the methods that have been shown to work in job hunting and avoid or reduce your times spent on the ones (e.g. reliance on resumes sent to job boards) that mostly don’t.
Malcolm Gladwell proposes in his latest book “Outliers” that extraordinary achievement is less about talent than it is about opportunity. And Part 1 of opportunity is seeing it.
A zillion years ago when I worked with McKesson I had the chance to spend some time with the folks in Memphis at Federal Express, who had McKesson as a major customer. Before the advent of inexpensive faxes, and even the Internet, FedEx had this idea of using their delivery truck network to deliver faxes that had been faxed to their local offices to customers, and set up large satellite dishes everywhere to support that push. When I visited them they had a yard-full of dishes that covered for grassy area in front of their corporate headquarters building.
Great idea, lousy timing: cheap fax machines hit the office and consumer market around the same time and FedEx was left with a bunch of satellite dishes – which they repurposed into a highly effective internal employee communications network.
Moral of the story: persevere and look for opportunities that at first blush look like a setback. If you’re hunkered down as opposed to being up and around, you never, ever see the opportunities.
The search people and job hunters I know talk about the job market today in the darkest of terms. It may be – but talking about it is not doing anything about it. There comes a time – as someone who had a childhood I personally find daunting, “to pick yourself up and dust yourself off ” and keep going.
Writer prophets like Gladwell, William Bridges , and Charles Handy (pdf on his vision of the future here ) show us some of the ways to make things work at choppy times like these.
So go out, show up , know yourself , do your homework , make new friends , channel Goldilocks , bear good witnesses , tip some secrets , and avoid the desperation of the last call . Oh, and be prepared to kiss any number of frogs to find your prince(ss) – it’s good practice for all the places you’ll go.