The pandemic has affected the jobs of many. If you are one among them, have been searching for a job, tried everything, and have a feeling that all your efforts have been in vain – it’s time to adapt to new strategies.
So here are 5 strategies to be effective in your job search and get into the one that’s best suited for you!
#1: Keep desperation in check.
You might have been out of the job for a while now. Managing expenses could have got difficult. To make ends meet, you could have gotten into a situation where you might want to just accept anything that comes by.
“I am willing to do anything. I need a job. I am desperately looking for one,” has been the most heard/read statement in the last few months.
I completely get it. I have been in a similar situation more than once.
So, I do feel your pain.
But let me also share with you a bitter truth.
Imagine someone pays you a handsome amount (let’s say double your last drawn salary) every single month to sweep the floor – would you accept the job?
If your answer was a NO, then it is time to do away with the desperation. It is leading you nowhere!
When you are desperate for a job – whether or not you say it, it reflects in everything that you do. This desperation is the sole reason you have not been able to get a job yet.
Desperation is a sign of under-confidence. Desperation reflects low self-esteem. Desperation is the trait of the tramps – the people who have no control over their careers!
Now if you were the hiring manager – would you want to hire people who are under confident or the ones who have low self-esteem?
You don’t want to hire tramps, do you?
If your answer was a NO yet again, how do you think you would get hired?
I am sure you get the message.
So, you need to give up being desperate. Period!
To keep desperation in check, begin with an end in mind
Imagine you are an artist. How will you paint the masterpiece of your life?”
I was attending a session on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when the trainer asked this question. I didn’t have an answer then. I was out of words. But this got me thinking.
If you don’t know what your life masterpiece looks like, you can never design the career of your dreams. Every day then will be boring, unexciting, and monotonous.
You will end up being anxious, worried, and desperate during the job search.
So begin with an end in mind.
Picture of the kind of job you want. What do you want to be doing? What kind of problems should you be solving? How would you be adding value to your customers? What does your ideal work-day look like?
Seek answers to these questions.
Then close your eyes. Imagine your ideal workday. Imagine you doing the work you love. Imagine returning home with a broad smile on your face because of the fulfillment you have at work.
Embrace the feeling. How does it feel to have this clarity?
This clarity will ensure you are applying to the jobs that are the best suited for you. You will apply with confidence and that will play a key role in getting you an interview call and eventually bagging the job offer!
This clarity will also ensure desperation is far away from you!
#2: Modify your LinkedIn profile to make it customer-facing.
“Customer-facing? But I am looking for a job” – could have been your natural response when you heard point # 2.
Yes. I am not kidding.
Whether you are looking for customers for your business or looking for a job – you are selling your services.
And these days everyone wants to buy but they don’t want to be sold to. Am I right?
Imagine you have gone shopping, and the salesman is busy convincing you how his company’s product is the best. Would you buy it?
I would surely walk out of the store.
Now imagine you walk into another store where the salesman questions you what you are looking for, why, what will you use the product for, how many people will use it, and so on. He hasn’t talked about the product yet. He is making an effort to understand your pain point. When he has understood it rightly, he talks about how an ‘x’ product will solve your problem and ease you from the pain. You instantly visualize the pleasure of your problem being solved, feel relieved, and make the purchase.
This salesman hasn’t sold you a product, he has in a way made your life easy! And so you bought it!
This is exactly how the job market works too.
If you keep talking about yourself, your skills, your certifications, your achievements, and so on – you are blowing your own trumpet. Like the salesman in the first scenario, you are being salesy. You are asking the recruiter or the hiring manager to offer you a job because you are the best according to you! And why would they even care?
Instead, showcase the problems you have solved, the impact you have created and how has your previous organization or its customers benefitted as a result. Talk about the value you have created. Help the hiring managers or recruiters realize that you are offering a solution to their problems.
You need to understand that when employers pay you the salary – it isn’t because they have got their job done. It is because this job that you did, solved their problem and got them more business.
When you make your LinkedIn profile customer-facing – it is easy for employers to visualize the pleasure of their problem being solved and more revenues as a result. It is then easy for them to make a hiring decision.
And don’t you worry about how to make your profile customer-facing. If point #1 is done right, this will be a breeze!
#3: Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
I teach entrepreneurship to students in various disciplines.
I take them through the entire journey of entrepreneurship step-by-step and expose them to some real-life scenarios. At the end of the program, the students are clear whether entrepreneurship is their cup of tea or not.
As a closing statement, I usually have only one message to give – Whether or not you become an entrepreneur, be sure to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Click To Tweet
It is a way of thinking that enables you to overcome challenges, be decisive, and accept responsibility for your outcomes. It is also a constant need to improve your skills, learn from your mistakes, and take continuous action on your ideas.
Approach every small thing that you do in your life with this mindset and nothing can get in your way of achieving success.
In your job search endeavor, developing the entrepreneurial mindset will play a vital role. Here is a 3-step simple formula to develop this amazing mindset.
First things first assume responsibility for your outcomes. Repeat after me – I am responsible for everything that happens to me.
That implies – you have lost your job because of you. You assume full responsibility for losing your job.
I agree it isn’t music to your ears, but it is imperative to accept this harsh reality.
This first step is the hardest. But once you have taken this step, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Like you assumed responsibility of the lost job, getting the best-suited job is your responsibility too. So you are the one who will have to work towards it.
The next step is to do a thorough evaluation. Be the devil’s advocate to do a critical self-appraisal. If you were your own manager, what would it take to keep on you onboard? List down every small point. Then evaluate it against your current skills. Identify all the possible gaps.
Go beyond and evaluate the work you have done over the past 12-18 months. What problems did you solve? What impact did your work have? Did your manager acknowledge the impact you created? If not, did you make an effort to quantify the impact as a result of your work and present it to your manager? What decisions did you take at the workplace? Were they appreciated by your manager?
Reflecting on these questions will uncover your areas of improvement. Don’t be surprised to learn you haven’t invested in your self-development.
Realize that this is a good time to work on yourself.
Put a plan on paper.
Finally, make the rubber meet the road. Based on the ideal job that you want to get into focus on honing the skills. Volunteer to do pro bono projects to gain experience if these skills are completely new. This practical exposure will help you ace the interviews.
Yeah, it sounds like a lot of work. But let me assure you, if you have ever heard entrepreneurship was easy, it is a lie!
#4: Showcase thought leadership
While working on your self-development, you will come across new things every single day. These concepts will not be easy to learn. But don’t worry I have got you covered. And here’s how.
When you come across new concepts think of how it can be practically applicable. Explain it from your point of view. Write this down. This will help you create small pieces of content. Share this content with the world through social media.
While you can put up your content on the media of your choice, LinkedIn would be my choice as it is a platform for professional connection and learning.
When you share your content on LinkedIn, people will read and share their opinion. And when they do, you will be able to understand their point of view and learn better.
Also, engage with people who are posting similar content. Share your point of view. And make the best use of your time on social media.
A pro tip here – Don’t bother about where you are at in your career. Thought leadership isn’t only for seniors. Whether you are just beginning your career, in the mid of your career, or at the peak - thought leadership is for you if you think you have it in you! Click To Tweet And, once you have begun sharing your content – it is important to be consistent even when you have got your job!
#5: Create a PULL, not PUSH!
Your network is your net-worth. It takes time to build rapport and credibility. But it only takes one ask for getting you a job, to ruin it.
Let’s face it, you too have been approached by people to get them a job, when you had a job. How many times did you respond to such messages you got in your email or in-mail?
So if you do the same, what are the odds that people will respond to your messages?
To make it worse, these days I see people going all out and literally begging for jobs on their LinkedIn posts. A lot of people in their network like their post put in a comment saying “commenting for better reach”, share the post out of sheer sympathy; but I am yet to find someone who has found a job as a result of such posts. Do you know of any?
This is a push strategy that doesn’t really work!
It is just another way of being salesy. Have you come across a salesman who shares with you his sad story to gain your sympathy to buy a product you don’t need? Do you end up making a purchase in such a scenario?
If NO is on your mind, then let me share with you a pull strategy for job search.
The pull strategy involves the problem-solving approach as discussed earlier.
Identify the problems you want to solve using the skills you possess or even the ones that you are trying to learn new. Formulate a problem statement and share it with your network on LinkedIn seeking help to have views about the approach you have for problem-solving or whetting the solution you have designed.
While more is merry, choose the set of people who are facing a similar problem (if not the same) and are keen to have a solution. This way you can get genuine feedback.
Also, if your solution is something that they would like to implement – you either have a contract job or a permanent one to implement the solution to the problem.
This is the pull approach.
You didn’t ask for a job, but they found value in your skills so they offered you a job! Isn’t that cool?
I know, all the 5 strategies I have talked about in today’s episode are radically different from the traditional approach. But insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
If you have been out of a job for a while and all your job-search efforts have been in vain, trust me it’s time to give up the traditional approach. The traditional approach has been for years, it has worked in the past no doubt – but in today’s world where things are ever-changing, it is time to approach job-search in a whole new way.
If you want to get more insights on this strategy, I am conducting a workshop to help you put each of the strategies into practice. Register yourself at https://www.designyourcareer.co/ghf
See you on the other side!