I always look forward to your column, whether I’m looking for a job or sitting comfortably in one. You have a way of cutting through the crap on this subject. And you did it again very well in your column in the Seattle Times: “Why Can’t I Keep a Good Job?” You posed the question, “…will you choose your next job, or will it choose you?” Wow. That really sums it up. I took the wrong job. Now I’m stuck. Any suggestions on how to start job hunting now?
Thanks for your kind note. You have hit on a very simple but profound idea, and I’ll take it to the next step for you. People need to be job hunting all the time. Not heavily, but persistently.
There is simply no excuse for needing to start a job search all of a sudden.
Start job hunting
By then, it’s too late, because it takes quite a lot of work and time to find the right job. You’ve heard me say it before. As I suggested in that Seattle Times article, most people who are job hunting are doing it because they took the wrong job to begin with… because they acted out of desperation.
Every day, everyone we meet and talk with is a potential source of opportunity. Pursue those opportunities! There is no need to be rude or intrusive about it. Practice discussing opportunities even when you are not job hunting.
Try this: Ask the next few people you meet, “So, tell me about your work. What exactly do you do at your company?” Then, let them talk. People love to talk about their work. Steer the conversation like this: “What’s your company like as a place to work?” Let them tell you.
If the answer is mostly positive, express your interest using your own version of the following:
How to Say It
“Your company seems to be one of the shining lights in the industry. At some point, I may be interested in making a career move. I’d like to learn more.”
You’d be surprised at what can come out of such a discussion. Please note that at no point are you asking for a job. If the company sounds really good, however, it may be time to make a gentle request for help getting in the door.
WINTER HOLIDAY DEAL
Order Fearless Job Hunting or any Ask The Headhunter e-book during the winter holidays and get 50% off your entire purchase. Enter discount code 2022XMAS at checkout. FJH is 251 pages loaded with How to Say It tips! Limited time offer. Happy Holidays! Order now!
New jobs come from people that know you
Asking someone for a job lead or for a job interview is awkward. Asking to meet other people who do the work you’re interested in is a different story. It’s natural to express interest in other people’s work.
How to Say It
“I work in [marketing or whatever]. I’m interested in learning more about your marketing department. I think it’s important to get to know people who are among the best in their field. Is there someone in your company’s [marketing] department that you think I should talk with?”
This approach is a great ice-breaker. If you get nervous, let it drop. Try again with someone else later. In time, you’ll enjoy talking with people about their work and their employers. When you need a referral, you’ll have a list “this long” of people who already know you are interested in their companies.
Start your job search now. Learn to hang out with people who do the work you want to do. That’s where good new jobs come from.
Are you always job hunting, or do you start job hunting at the last minute? When you meet people that you need to ask for help, how do you “say it?”
This edition is reprinted from Fearless Job Hunting. Learn how to overcome the daunting obstacles that stop other job hunters dead in their tracks — and get 50% off on all Ask The Headhunter e-books! Enter discount code 2022XMAS at checkout. Limited time offer. Happy Holidays! Order now!