Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Real Job Search Advice

I hate it when people try to give me advice on my job search. The reason why is because my experience thus far has taught me some unpopular truths that you can't just say. Giving good advice on a job search is like giving advice about college. The good advice is the stuff people can't say because they would get shouted down by people not going through it. Yes, sometimes it is a good idea to skip class. Here it is.

8. Field matters
People want to say any job is a job, but in this market employers have their pick. Sure you can try an option that's related to your field but why waste your time and energy on something completely outside of it.

Case in Point, I went to a few job fairs, most of them wanted engineers. I have no background(okay it was my major once a long time ago but 2 semesters of mostly failed classes does not count) in engineering and I had nod my head and give blank stares. Most of these jobs have listings of point blank objective qualifications. I have zilch programming skills. These are the basics. If you can't do things x, y and Z when there are other people who can why would you compete with them. It's like Jordan playing baseball, it was a personal choice for him looking for a challenge but if he wanted to win why not just focus on the game in which he was arguably the best player in the world. Instead focus on jobs around things A, B and C that you do well rather than rushing to anything because it says job.

7. Focus on doing something productive even if you don't get paid.
I've done work for no pay and it downright pisses me off when people say I've never had a job. The economy's crap and having something is a leg up on a lot of people even if it's just volunteer work, or a side project. Who knows? That side project might turn into something more down the line and it gives you an opportunity to gain confidence and learn, two things that will help you down the line.

6. Be prepared to think outside of the box
The days of the 9 to 5 are disappearing. You might end up having to freelance, work on commission or contract. Again these are jobs. Don't let the fact that it might not meet up to someone else's bullshit definition of work get you down. Money is money.

5. Learn - People are not static. Just because you outside of school doesn't mean you can't expand your skill base. Archer from Fate Stay/Night said something similar to his younger self. Depending what version you're watching he also tried to kill his younger self, but hey. "You have but one skill so it is imperative that you master it." I don't agree with the one skill bit, but still there is no reason why you cannot continue to master the skills you already possess.

4.. Even Food Services, Retail and Hospitality take skill
Related to eight, even the jobs people pick up just to have something to do take skills and employers want people who already have those skill sets. Don't assume that you can just get these jobs. That said, try to get them anyway.

3. Prepare for the bureaucracy
The days when you can walk into a building and walk out of it with a job are over. Chances are the person you talk to is going to have other people they have to talk to before you can get the job. As such you have to learn how to work the bureaucracy. Don't assume that everyone has the same information. Talk to individuals and realize they are individuals. You didn't talk to the store. You talked to a guy who works at the store. In some cases you might have to go through 5 interviews before you get the job.

2. Figure out what you're good at
The labor market is all about connecting people who do stuff to people who need stuff done. Figuring out what you can do is half of the equation. Figure out why the hell someone should hire you. Figure out why someone should give you money. What service do you provide? How would you add value to their business?

300 what is your profession by RobGreen
1. Personality counts - For employers often times it's not just about what you can do but who you are. They want to know that you will fit in with your co-workers. There was a great interview from Brody Dale and Tony Bevilacqua about finding new band mates but it's not just about a band. It's about any group of people who do stuff. They want to know that the people you're working with won't want to punch you in the face in a month. Keep that in mind sometimes not getting a job doesn't mean you weren't qualified. Sometimes you just, "aren't the right fit."

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