By Marcia LaReau
The Job Seeker’s Success Formula
Success is a process
Athletes will likely agree with me that developing skill, building technique, taking care of their body and mind requires daily care. Proper routine becomes a critical factor in their success. Professional musicians are no different and each one can relate unique stories about the development of their technique as well as their musicianship. They develop individual regimens that become a trusted part of every day.
Just like athletes and musicians, jobseekers develop routines and processes. Some good, others…not so much. The list of activities include attending jobseeker support groups, networking appointments, presentations at libraries, daily activity on LinkedIn, finding and applying for posted positions, reading and learning more about their professions, and possible classes and certifications. Did I mention cover letters and résumés? Thank you notes and interview preparation?
Did you make this common mistake?
Often, after being laid off, jobseekers may panic and rush to put together a résumé and apply for any number of opportunities. However, today’s job market is constantly changing. An industry has evolved to support the hiring process. To be successful in today’s market, a jobseeker must become an expert in the advancements in his or her industry to be credible. Next, he or she must understand the new hiring processes.
Why jobseekers quit
- The quality of the activity determines the quality of the result. So if the action was of high quality, then the result brings high value.
- When the results are deemed poor by the jobseeker, then that person is more likely to give up. They quit.
When an activity doesn’t bring in any results or when the results only have a negative impact, then it’s reasonable to stop that process.
Jobseekers spend a lot of energy on the job search. They give it their very best and when they get calls for jobs that are a poor fit and don’t bring even a consideration of a living wage, they give up. That’s reasonable.
Further, when a jobseeker gets nothing back from all their effort—nothing; why should they continue that process. That’s reasonable.
Lastly, when jobseekers are treated poorly by the hiring community (this is my biggest “beef”!!!!), when they receive contracts that evaporate, interviews for positions that disappear or didn’t exist to start with, promised calls that never happen— It’s no wonder they give up. That’s reasonable.
Finding a job is a marathon rather than a sprint.
Don’t quit. Do this instead.
Jobseekers might consider a different approach:
- If the result was undesirable, then change the process that created it.
- Realize that every response has valuable information IF the jobseeker asks the right questions.
Case study: Meet Toni
Toni had been in a transition job for 18 months when we met up. The position paid half of what she was making and the work wasn’t in her field of expertise. It barely paid the bills. None of her efforts resulted in an interview. She was ready to give up and resign herself to never getting back to her industry of choice.
As we began working Toni carefully studied changes in her industry. She realized that she would likely have to move out of state. She diligently applied herself to learning our process to create customized cover letters and résumés that would get through the online systems (ATS), and parallel the hiring process with regard to additional information. Calls began coming in…but:
After four months of work she said, “Marcia, these people see me as being qualified for positions that are lower than my expertise.”
It was an excellent observation. Somehow we were sending the wrong message about where Toni fit in her industry. We went back and selected five job postings that were at her level of expertise. We compared the language used on the postings with the job descriptions on her résumé. Then we changed the language in her last two positions to reflect the current language found on the job postings.
The “right” interviews began to surface. A job offer came last week.
Case study: Meet Mike