Last week’s blog post explained how we’ve done over 100 interviews with job seekers in the last few years, and we’ve developed a good sense about what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to getting hired. We listed 3 reasons why the job search takes longer for some people than they expect. If you missed that article, you can find it here.
Now for three more reasons your job search will take longer than you think.
1. You aren’t being picky enough. We know. There are plenty of folks out there who are too picky. They want a 4-hour work week that pays over $100K, allows them to work from home, and gives them use of the company car. But for every job-seeker we’ve met who’s too picky, we’ve talked with 2-3 who say they’re flexible. They want to keep their options open. An administrative assistant is open to being a management trainee for a car rental company or a telemarketer in a call center. A project manager is willing to work as a software programmer instead. Failure to specialize divides your attention and gets results half as fast. Many of our clients think the specializing will eliminate options for them. The reality is it creates options because it gives them a clear path to travel, and actions steps to take immediately. Failure to specialize results in ambiguity and paralysis. Identify what you do best, and say it proudly.
2. You ignore the crushing logic of supply and demand. Jobs are much more difficult to find when the demand for a particular skill set is low, but schools and training programs continue to produce workers with that skill. Sadly, it’s the rare candidate who has looked at the hard numbers related to his or her work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U.S. government (www.bls.gov/ooh) is a great source for this information. For example, did you know that there were roughly 57,600 news reporters and correspondents in the United States in 2012, and the demand was projected to decrease 13% in the next 10 years? Meanwhile, the same communications skill set could be used in a marketing and sales arena, where there are 2-4 times as many positions available, demand is growing, and pay is comparable in many places. Which role would you rather target?
3. You fail to position yourself the way a top performer would. Notice I didn’t say, “you’re not a top performer.” Smart candidates choose to imitate the habits, speech patterns, and writing style of top performers so they can act the part, even while they’re still gaining experience and learning to perform well. In other words, they fake it until they make it. By contrast, some of our clients make mistakes like saying they’ll “take any job” as long as it pays decent money, describe positions as a “perfect fit” before they’ve met the boss or anyone on the team, and ask questions about compensation before the first-round interview is even over. We teach dozens of little tips for acting the part of a top performer, and we do mock interviewing with clients to make sure they can implement our recommendations well.
If you find yourself falling into any of these traps, and want some support or coaching around how to get on the fast track to landing a job, simply visit www.CatchYourBigBreak.com/consult, and sign up for an individualized coaching session with one of our qualified coaches.