Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking For A Job

Job hunting is one of the most stressful things you will ever do. But there is absolutely no reason to make it harder than it is—and yet that is what most of us do.
Invariably, people—especially if you are on the far side of 35—begin their job search (consciously or un) thinking they are entering into a permanently life altering experience.  Their reasoning sounds something like this: “I need to go into this search believing that my next job is going to be my last one, because I could be spending the rest of my working life at the place that hires me, so I have to make sure there is a  perfect fit.”
With that as the premise, we plan in painful detail—“I need to know exactly where within the subdivision’s finance department I’ll be working”—before we take action like sending out an email to a friend of a friend of a friend in the company we KNOW, after weeks of research, we want to work.
Not only is this needlessly stressful—do you really want to agonize over every aspect of your job search—it is silly.
Odds are this is not going to be your last job.  The economy is simply evolving too fast for you to think you are going to work at one place for several decades. (Just ask the people formerly employed by Oldsmobile, Polaroid, WashingtonMutual, or…) People under 35 don’t think their current employer is going to be their last one. You shouldn’t either.
So plan on moving from gig to gig.  Acknowledging that fact will reduce your stress significantly.
As for the search itself, here’s our advice: Figure out the following two things:
1. What truly tickles your fancy?
2. What are you will to pay—in both the figurative and literal sense—in order to obtain that kind of work. Will you move?  Take the night shift?  Willingly work weekends? How much money do you need to make? Will you take a smaller salary in exchange for a commission, piece of the action, the potential to receive huge bonuses?
Armed with the answers to those questions, spend some time—and we are talking hours not days—thinking about two different things:
–The kind of places that offer this kind of work.
– How you can get in front of someone who is in the position to hire you. (Who do you know that they know; what is it going to get their attention, if you need to approach them directly.)
Once they agree to see you, use the interview as a learning opportunity. Sure, it would be great if the conversation ended in “you’re hired.” But if it doesn’t what did you learn? If there a different way of getting the kind of job you want, in light of the conversation you just had?” (If you can’t think of one, you probably weren’t paying enough attention while the interview was going on.)  Ask the person you just interviewed with what they would do, if they were in your position.
We can’t guarantee that this process will get you a job—although we are convinced it will improve your chances—but we do know, it will make the hunt substantially less stressful.

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