Most blogs (this one included) will give you advice on how to control things you can actually control, such as your resume or how to answer interview questions. Today my goal is to teach you how to adjust your thinking process, so you can overcome the delays and setbacks inherent in job search that you CANNOT control.
This thinking process that you must change is one that is very common in job search AND in life: Being overly focused, and thinking “this opportunity is THE opportunity, and when I get it, I will be happy and life will be better.”
Don’t get me wrong, I want you to be enthusiastic about everything you are doing, but what happens more often than not is that we get overly focused on just one thing, and if the opportunity doesn’t happen, we become disheartened and negative, and then we continue with half efforts or zero efforts because we are so disappointed.
This line of thinking in your job search is a critical mistake, but it’s a very common mental trap, and costly to fall into if you don’t recognize it.
If you reading this are one of the lucky few who never feels the effects of disappointment, that’s great, follow my advice anyway, as it still pertains to you.
Going by what I see in my coaching practice, the number one killer of job searches is disappointment and negativity on the part of the job seeker..they find the “perfect” ad on the internet and never hear back, or they interview several times for one position with someone they “connect with,” and then nothing happens..nothing happens except a growing frustration.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, hiring managers are taking up to four times longer than normal to fill positions. This is something that the job seeker cannot control, but how you react to it is something you not only can, but MUST control, lest you fall victim to job seeker negativity.
Here’s the proper way to conduct your search so you don’t react badly when it happens to you: HAVE MORE THAN ONE THING GOING ON AT ANY GIVEN TIME.
This is something we stress highly in our Five O’Clock Club small group sessions. Our research shows that jobseekers that have 6 – 10 “things” going on at any given time get jobs faster, they feel better about their search, and are always in a better position to uncover an opportunity.
These “things going on” mean talking to 6 – 10 people on an ongoing basis who could hire you if an opening existed, or people who know people who could hire you, or people who are “insiders” in an industry you are trying to move into. I’m not talking about finding 6 – 10 life science recruiters and pestering them. ( more on why that’s a bad idea in future blogs)
Maintaining this level of activity takes a lot of work, and it goes beyond finding a few “perfect” internet ads, firing off the CV, and then waiting..and waiting..
Why is this so important? Because the reality is that some job opportunities will evaporate without warning, no matter how good of a fit you might be, or how much they told you they like you.
It is also a reality that some job opportunities will be delayed. The management may decide to ride out the current economy with the existing staff levels…maybe a new product has utterly failed in the marketplace, and the stock price took a nosedive. Or perhaps the venture capital is drying up, and there’s no new hiring. It could be anything, and they don’t owe you or your recruiter an explanation.
Here’s how to keep enough “plates in the air” no matter what is going on “out there:”
- Research your market – who can hire you? Be creative, there are more than you think.
- Find people within these companies you can talk with about opportunities. HINT: They don’t always work in HR.
- Ask people you know if THEY know anyone within your target companies you can talk to.
- THE KEY: When you think you’ve spoken to enough people, talk to more. Call them every six weeks or so, but be polite and gracious.
- If you need help, get help in becoming skilled in talking to other people about what you are looking for. Networking and communicating are learned skills, and you will lose to other job seekers who are better at these things than you are.
The thing to remember is that the world is not a static place. The world keeps turning, regardless of our needs and wants. An opportunity that wasn’t there a week ago is now a must–fill…maybe somebody moved to a new role, leaving an opening for you in their wake.
Who has a better chance of landing in a good spot, the job seeker who is always out there staying on top of things, or the one who sends out three CV’s, doesn’t hear back, and then concludes there are no good opportunities? The key for you is to keep enough “balls in the air” so to speak, so you can ride out the inevitable ups and downs.
Until next time,
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach and experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s. The Five O’Clock club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net