Working may be perceived as a legalized form of ‘addiction’ that serves as an avenue for many to fulfill both financial and material needs. For average Joe’s like me, working is a platform to achieve professional aspirations and help pay the bills as well.
In today’s highly-competitive corporate landscape, the art of job hunting is surprisingly even tougher in spite of multiple online avenues, portals and social media networks available. Reality is, regardless of whether a person is 20, 40 or 60 he or she will face difficulties when he/she starts casting out the net to land either the first catch or the big one.
The system is established in such a way that it ultimately presents a nasty twist for job hunters regardless of their age and experience. To cite an example, those who just came out of universities with their freshly-minted degrees will surely have their initial reality check in their bid to land their first job with the ‘lack of job experience’ as the main rationale provided by their prospective employers as to why they got rejected over and over and yes, over again.
Meanwhile, those in their mid-30s, 40s, 50s and 60s who aspire for greater leadership roles will also face numerous challenges and experience outright rejections as well for (ironically) having been burdened by too much experience. The term “overqualified” is always an easy and convenient justification.
These realities in man’s pursuit for work may easily quell hopes of the young ones, and dampen the spirit of the ‘young once’ searching for greener pastures. However, there are keys to overcome this debacle and they are as follows:
1. Keep Eyes on the Prize
Staying focus has never been more imperative when one is going through a transitional phase in their career or on their way to their first pay check. It is vital to adopt a salesman mentality wherein the word “No” is but just an alternative version of “Yes but not now” or “Maybe”. The word ‘No’ is a code word for move on and start again.
2. Eat Humble Pies Graciously
Searching and hunting for a job (or a dream job) is never easy especially if you wish to make it on your own. Prepare yourself as doors of opportunities will be slammed on your face time and time again. Maintain a gracious spirit and keep knocking until the right one opens. When life serves us a hefty serving of humble pie, adopt a pugilistic mentality. Be your own Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini or Leila Ali. The equation is simple – you got knocked down twice, get up thrice. Learn to fight your way through each round until you land that dream job of yours.
3. The Hunt Never Stops
Job hunting at any stage of one’s career is like being a tribute in the Hunger Games sans the violence. The hunt never stops until such time as you’re the only one left standing and all your rivals (disappointments) are “slain”. Adopting a Katniss Everdeen or a Peeta Mellark mentality does help as it keeps you on your toes and always on the look-out for challenges and opportunities. Study your opponents and understand the topography of each employment landscape. Always arm yourself with the right knowledge and tools before heading for battles (interviews). Remember what Proximo told Maximus in Gladiator before he headed for Rome ——- “Win the Crowd (employer) and you’ll win your freedom.”
4. Network Like There’s No Tomorrow
Landing a job should ideally be just about you, your talent, your experience, your character and your suitability for the role. Unfortunately, the stark reality is -most opportunities these days are landed by those in the know, those with the connection, those who are within the boundaries of the right network. Job hunters must learn to engage, connect and sell their talents to people who will help you land your dream job. One needs to adopt a News Reporter mentality and have the nose for what’s happening on the ground and around the grid. Making one’s presence felt both in the social and professional media spheres is highly crucial. Developing a proper LinkedIn profile is always a good start.
Do you have any tips for job hunters out there? Please share them and let’s help those seeking to further their professional growth.
By Walter Santos Navarro
The Average Joe