“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” –Benjamin Franklin
My line of work as a career strategist entails helping job seekers to become more competitive in the labour market by undertaking a number of activities. The activities include personal branding, CV/résumé presentation, polishing interview and networking skills. I often come across a statement that is not uncommon among job seekers: They have been using a particular fool proof job-seeking strategy throughout their career lifespan to find work and they do not see the advantage of changing this strategy. I am sure there are many who feel this way, but I believe – contrary to popular belief – you can teach an old dog new tricks!
However, it is important to be savvy of and keep up with employment and hiring trends of today. A strategy that may have worked when you left college and landed your first job may not necessarily work during your next job search or if you contemplate a career shift.
I make particular reference to the baby boomers that may have been in the same job for the last 20-30 years or are at a point of career transition. In the 80’s and early 90’s it was productive to seek vacancy announcements in the dailies and apply with a handwritten application letter and send it via snail mail and wait for an invitation to an interview . Okay, okay, I know I have gone a bit too far back as job search strategies have significantly evolved since the 70’s and continue to do so. Perhaps it is more apt to refer to job seekers who in the recent past have responded to vacancy announcements that they come across in the press, internet and other conventional approaches. This approach has probably worked for them, but the question is, for how much longer?
It helps to note that in order, to compete for professional as well as non-technical jobs more successfully, job seekers may need to try more adventurous approaches in their job search endeavours. Of course you are welcome to try out the traditional approach and if that does not yield positive results, not all is lost. You can try out something that may seem unorthodox, at least to begin with, but it is a tactic that will nevertheless increase your chances of landing your dream job. Dick Bolles, author of ‘What Color Is Your Parachute’(use this link to purchase a copy: http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/books) presents a model on the two ways of hunting for a job: The ‘traditional way’ or the ‘Parachute way’. You can read more on http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/for-job-hunters. In his suggested approach, he asserts the importance of job seekers not waiting until a vacancy is announced but rather to approach the potential employer way before a job is posted. In fact I would like to add that it is imperative to approach the potential employer even before they have conceived the idea of creating a related position in their organisation. This is called strategic networking. A client I once worked with informed me that he did not like to network because it felt like a disingenuous act. In fact some people believe that networking is a dirty word. It can feel dirty if the job seeker uses people to get to the next level in their job hunt and not give anything in return. This should not be translated into money or an item of monetary value. It can be a simple thank you note and willingness to assist another person trying to leverage new or enhance existing connections in order to meet job search goals.
To become an informed job seeker begin to think:
- Word of mouth
- Enhancing online presence
- Face-to-face networking
- Online networking
- Updating and upgrading your CV/résumé
- Crafting culturally appropriate elevator speech
Connect with me for additional information on tips for successful job search.