Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Job Search: Part One. What do you want?

Where to look?
Research companies that do what you want to do. If you’re in sales, try getting into a company that sells a product you believe in. Here’s an exercise: Make a list of things that you like to do, then research companies that make those things. What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time when you’re not getting paid? You need to be deliberate.

For instance, if you’re a gamer and you want to get into the field, make a list of gaming companies that make your favorite games. Then find out what it is that they’re looking for. Get into the company, it might not be your ideal job, but you’re one step closer.  It’ll be a lot easier for you to navigate your way into the position that’s right for you if you’re already in the door.

How to get hired. – General guidelines.
(I’ll elaborate more on the hiring process next week.)

With the job market being as competitive as it is, many job seekers are scatter-shooting the employment pool and flooding everywhere and anywhere with their generic resume. If that’s you, stop. It’s not a good way to get the job you want and you could be robbing someone who really wants your random job from an opportunity to do what they love. Sure, you may haphazardly land some gig that’ll keep your lights on, and the repo man from absconding with your ride, but in the long term, you’re going to be stuck there…for at least a year. There are jail-terms with shorter sentences than that. If you’re not comfortable with giving at least a year commitment, then look elsewhere. Ideally, employers want at least two years, which is enough to prove competency in a position, and won’t look like you left your job due to a personal conflict or being unable to perform your duties.

Say you find a new job. If it’s possible, don’t leave your old one until you have found a new one. It’s way more difficult to land a new job when you don’t have one. That said, when you do have a new job, don’t leave your old one in a blaze of glory. Everyone has the fantasy of Molotov-cocktailing the bridge you’ve crossed once you’re on the other side, I would strongly encourage you NOT to do so. The world is a lot smaller than you think, and employers always check in with your previous boss. Sure there’s a list of questions bosses are allowed to ask previous employers, but there’s some really crafty ways of sidestepping that process. One of which is “Would you hire this person back?” and if you told your old boss to kiss your ass as you dropped the keys down the garbage disposal, don’t be shocked if your new job suddenly decides to “go a different direction”. 

The power of Social media.
If you blast your job on your Facebook page, someone will find out about it.  You put it on the Internet for crying out loud. What did you think was going to happen? Social media has become a rant fest of people speaking their minds about their crummy jobs, neighbors, bosses and exes.  It’s never a bad move to not blast someone on the Internet. The media loves to report bad news and people getting what’s coming to them.  If you bag on the guy who signs your paychecks don’t be surprised when he stops signing them.

Getting there.
Say you’re not in an optimal position to land your dream job. It’s okay. Everybody has to start somewhere. It’s time to start looking into the steps you’re going to need to take to get there. Start with identifying what’s keeping you from where you want to be, and then knocking those obstacles out of your way, one by one. If you have no idea where to start, contact someone who does what you want to do and find out the how-tos.
Every journey begins with a single step. Stop wandering. Make steps in the right direction and ask yourself the question, what do you want for your life?

The days of just doing whatever are long gone. Don’t get to the end of your life and say, “I shoulda…” You are never going to be as young as you are right now, and you will get to a point where it’s too late, so get busy.

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