Monday night I spoke to a large Career Transition group in Brentwood Tennessee. I met lots of people who are in the process of moving through unexpected transitions. Some have welcomed the opportunity to redirect and know they are moving to work that is more in alignment with their dreams. But I also talked to many who were discouraged, convinced the economy is bad and no one is hiring.
Here are 5 quick flaws I heard in my conversations with these folks – some having been “out of a job” now for 9-22 months. These flaws are killers for your job search.
- Unclear Focus – nothing will sabotage your job search more completely than being unclear about what the ideal job would be. If you expect a company to help you figure out your skills and talents you’ll be pushed down in position and compensation.
- Applying for only jobs posted – and then only for those with a clear fit. If you are looking only at jobs that are posted somewhere, you are seeing a very tiny percentage of what’s available. Make a list of 30-40 companies where you know there could be a match for your skills and contact them – before they “post” the position. You’
- Wanting to engage creative skills – writing, art, video production, animation, music – but with traditional “job” characteristics: salary, benefits, regular hours, etc. Be very aware that most jobs are not designed to embrace your creativity. They are structured to have you do set tasks repeatedly.
- Describing “Sales” as a competency but wanting a guaranteed salary. If you are really competent as a salesperson you will know your income is generated based on creating new revenue for the company. So if the commission rate is acceptable, you will not be deterred by having no base salary. Requiring a high base in a sales position tells the company you don’t really believe you can produce.
- Believing that having a degree – or even advanced degrees – will put you in the running for top jobs. In today’s workplace, proving competence can come in a variety of ways. Having a degree may do little to swing things in your favor.