Friday, July 25, 2008

How to Get a Job

Unemployment is currently at a 4 year high in the US. As one of the 8.8 million Americans looking for jobs, I offer tried-and-true advice for job searching.

First, don’t get discouraged. People have been finding employment for 6,000 years. The key is to keep believing in yourself so that other people will feel that they have a reason to believe in you; other people like: your family, your friends, and your network of potential referrals, in addition to your future company. Also, remember that sometimes, the option is not to find another “job,” but to find a new source of generating income.

Facts:
40% of positions are created. Decision makers meet you and want your skills because they are convinced that hiring you will help them make money.
90% of management positions come through networking. How do you create a network? Use the tools that are available. It is embarrassing, but let people around you know that you are looking for a new job. Use friends, family, church, and social connections, and also the internet.

Networking:
Everybody uses this word and we keep saying that you should build one. What nobody tells you is that you should TARGET your networks. Making good friends with just ANYBODY has a much lower chance of revealing a quality connection. Instead, create a network that focuses on your industry or on the specific companies you want to work for: talk to people that know those companies or join groups specific to your industry.

Questions:
All of that requires answering some fundamental questions that will focus your search:
-Are you employed? If not, what have you liked most about your past positions? If you are employed, why are you seeking a new position?
-What type and level of position are you seeking, and with what compensation?
-How are you valuable to a company that is trying to fill that position? And How can you make yourself more valuable in that position?
-What people do you know that could teach you more or help you get to this position?
-What are you willing to do to make this happen?

Timing:
How Long Will it Take? The answer is "NOT FOREVER." I mean, nobody has ever searched for a job for forever. It really depends on how hard you work and how much time you are investing. Job seeking firms recommend 20 to 40 minutes a day. I would double that and then qualify it: You should spend 20 to 40 minutes two times a day, once in the early morning when you’re clearest and then again at lunch hour or at business close. So, 80 minutes spread across the day of focused time should be dedicated to your job search. But here is the qualifier:
“focused” time means you’re writing letters to an individual
or you’re on the phone making calls!
That is the business of “Getting a Job.”
The rest of your activities, such as researching companies and finding names and addresses to send your letters to, are done with your personal time. Think of it this way, if you had a job, you would spend 40 or more hours doing that job. But on the job, you still are expected to put in time at meetings, fill out forms, file paperwork, etc. The point is, perhaps only about ¼ of your work day is spent “adding to the bottom line.” The other 6 hours are preparing you to really shine when you get down to business. Proportion your job search in a similar way. --Shawn Butler

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