Are you looking for a job? Perhaps you’re just reading up so you’ll know the “in’s and out’s” if you HAVE to have them? There is only one Job Insurance Policy. It’s knowing HOW to find one!
In my twenty plus years of coaching job search, I’ve seen it all. What do I see too often? People attending multiple workshops I offer, completing an Action Plan and understanding all the integral pieces. Then, they go to their computers, check every job search data base, fill out countless applications and …….wait……..wait for someone to contact them.
Why wouldn’t they apply all they just learned? Because much of it is out of their Comfort Zones and sitting at the computer allows them to stay snuggly and warmly in what they know. Will they get a job this way? Maybe, eventually. If their application fits a job description perfectly. Might that take a long time? Will they feel reactive and out of control? Absolutely!
So what’s the answer? To mix many tactics in such a way that you’re building momentum. It’s a numbers game. And the very highest percentage tactic – networking – says you’re going to HAVE to ask for help.
That’s the most difficult for many job searchers. We were raised in a culture that says it’s a weakness to ask for help. Perhaps your role models reinforced that value every day. It’s such an epidemic in our country, I wrote a book about it – Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Why Doing It All Is Doing You In published by McGraw Hill.
So, you not only have to learn all the strategies for your search, you also have to come face-to-face with this entrenched value and make sense out of abandoning it so that you can ask for help.
Does it really make sense to continue to believe that asking for help is a weakness? Can each of us really exist as an island and find fulfillment cutting ourselves off from everyone around us? I don’t think so.
Is it such a stretch to believe that you’ve been thrown into a search to help you break that old rule and teach you the real value of involving others? We’re never so open to new ways to look at things as we are when we’re in crisis and believe me, a job search CAN feel like a crisis if you let it.
How can you ask for help in a search? Do you just stand on the corner with a box full of resumes and ask everyone who passes to help you? Of course not. The first thing you do is take control of your search by deciding what you want. That may surprise you in a bad economy. Are there really choices? Of course there are. Employees are still moving, being terminated, getting sick etc. Those places have to be filled. Even when companies downsize or merge, new positions are created.
The second step is to do a thorough evaluation of what you are selling. What skills and experience do you have? Can you talk intelligently about them and how they can benefit a prospective employer?
Then make a list of everyone you know and decide what they can do to help you get there. Do they know employees in companies doing what you want to do? Do they know vendors who service companies where you want to be? Do they know consultants or accountants that work with target companies?
Asking for that information is not lying prostate on the ground in hopelessness but taking control of your search and utilizing relationships to help you get there. Make sense? Of course!