Author: David McGrane
There are many potentially frustrating things we all have to do in our lives. But they just have to be done. Job Seeking is one of them, so the trick may be in how you approach it.
In mindfulness circles, there is a lot of focus on finding the inspiration in whatever you’re doing, however potentially frustrating or mundane it may initially seem – washing the dishes, folding clothes, looking for a parking spot, waiting for a late bus or train.
By looking at it in a different way, by trying to be fully in the moment of whatever you are doing, are you able to draw inspiration, or at least appreciation, from it?
Feel the warm water on your hands as you wash; experience the soft springiness of the clothes you fold; tap into the universe to see if that abundant power can open up a parking space for you; people watch while you wait.
Apply mindfulness to applying for jobs.
Now apply that same way of looking at things to looking for a job. Recognize that it is a process, and that certain steps just have to be done, but look to draw inspiration from them – about yourself and about others. Treat yourself with compassion during this process, but also approach it with curiosity – what do you see, what are you learning, what can you appreciate about each moment of the Job Search?
Be aware of your Intentions – what are you really looking to achieve at each step of the process? This opens up the opportunity for Little Victories – lots of little victories add up. When you are clear on your intentions you can radiate them out to the universe. The universe is very abundant, good things happen when you radiate clear intentions.
Take your time.
Now take that attitude, and take your time. Take the time to update your resume fully, and to think through how you would shift its focus depending upon the roles you are applying for. View it objectively, as an employer would. How could it be better, different, unique? How could it help you stand out more? Does it set you up for the role you really want to be doing? Be sure to add in, and to have handy, any and all achievements (with specific metrics) and any and all career wins.
Take the time to reach out to your network – ALL of your network. Don’t leave anyone out, even if you haven’t been in touch for a while – you never know where the next connection will come from. Ask friends, ask former colleagues, ask relatives and just about anyone. Remember that many jobs are filled by referrals before they are even posted. See? There’s something to dig deep for, there’s something to make the search seem less tedious – unearthing a role that hasn’t even been posted yet. Inspiring!
Along the same lines – reach out directly to local companies, or companies on your Where-I’d-Really-Like-To-Work list (you have one of those, right? If not, just imagine the fun of filling that out. No pressure. Remember, be compassionate with yourself – you’re not saying you will work there; you’re just saying they’re on the list). Reach out via phone if possible. Asking for the HR department, or invest the time in some research and try to find the hiring manager. Have your oh-so-updated resume handy, in case you need to send it right away. Same for any recommendation letters, references, etc.
Have a hook!
When you get someone on the phone, what’s a hook you can use to keep them on the phone. Something unique about you (there are lots of things unique about you – make another list). Something that makes you ideal for the role you’re going for (be clear on that too). Or it can be something unique about them and their company.
Social media is of course not just for chatting and sharing snaps. Savvy job seekers know it’s another great place to spread the word and potentially unearth hidden gems. Not sure you have it in you to be job seeking on Social – you do, just steel yourself. 30 seconds of courage here could help you land the role that’s been eluding you. Nike says it best…
Interact with the content from those companies on your List. Staying up-to-date with their Social will make for good interview questions as/when your chance arises. Find relevant discussions on Twitter and contribute. Everyday there will be a chance to share your thoughts, post comments, etc. on any relevant content. Again, don’t be backward about coming forward, if you get the chance to ask for a referral – take it!
Give thought to signing up with a job agency. I can of course recommend The Job Shop (as can hundreds of others on Google). We take the time to meet with each candidate, to focus on what makes you unique, and therefore what makes you uniquely suited for the roles that are a good match.
Take a look at looking for a job in a new way.
As discussed, though, take your time, take your chances, be compassionate with yourself, and try to see this whole job search thing in a new way. You just might see you way into the role you’ve been looking for.