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Just One Hour A Day

Alright to all of you who don’t think you have time to search for a new job…I don’t believe you!! It is time to stop making excuses and get started. I believe all you need is 1 hour a day to do a good job search. Yes, that is right all you need is 1 hour a day(focused time) to find a new job. This 1 hour entails only working on job search activities. There is no eating, no drinking, no watching people, no sitting and pondering, no bathroom break, no kids, no family, no NOTHING! Just you and your computer or pen and paper to write down somethings.

That also means no reading about job searching on the internet. Don’t get sucked into reading articles on finding tips and time savers on your search. Do that at another time. This 1 hour is for job searching only.

Try it out for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. In my estimates, you need 30 to 60 focused hours on job searching to garner job interviews. If you know how to work the online systems, 30 hours will do, if not, plan on 60. Now get out there and Get Started!


Friday Frenzy

Good Friday to you all! Don’t stop job searching on Friday afternoon because you are tired of it. Use this time to follow up on leads because many times people are planning their next weeks activities on Friday and you may be on the list.

As a previous sales person for big pharma, one of the techniques we used was connecting with doctors at “off hours”. Each doctor had different hours based upon the schedule they kept. Some did more surgery, some did more clinical work while others spent scheduled time off with their family while the regular guys were working. We would many times try to find out when a doctor had off hours or was away from the office. This way we could get some uninhibited time with them to discuss our products.

What it all boiled down to is that just because your schedule is 8 to 5 doesn’t mean everyone else has that some schedule. Many times I receive responses from clients or HR people very late in the evening or on weekends. So don’t slack off because you think someone is not going to be in their office. You never know, they might be there and you get a chance to catch them at the right time.

If you have time, use it productively no matter what part of the day it includes.

Let’s Get Started!


YOU In An Interview!

I have been working with a client for a month or so. He has a couple of interviews scheduled this week so much of our time has been practicing for those. The practice has gone very well. He is a smart and well experienced manager of engineers.

The questions being asked have been very easy to answer. Questions like: What makes you angry and How do you plan your day are typical. He has his answers ready and most of the sound right on! He has only one bad habit. His habit is in his use of the word YOU instead of I. This may seem trivial to most people but this minor use of the wrong word has tainted my impression of him when he speaks.

As an example, let’s use the question: How do you plan your day? His original answer was: “You plan a day by organizing it into appointments. When you set up the next day’s schedule, you have to keep some time open in case there are pressing issues that come up.” His use of “you” instead of “I” to answer these questions gave me the impression he was trying to teach me something through his answers. This was subtle but after a few questions, I started getting the impression he was either hiding something or not telling me the whole picture.

So I encouraged him to replace the “you” with “I” and here is the way it sounded: “I plan my day by organizing it into appointments. When I set up the next day’s schedule, I have to keep some time open in case there are pressing issues that come up.” Instead of teaching me or hiding something, I now had the sense he was truly answering my questions. This minor change made a world of difference.

My client had a difficult time changing this because he has been doing it this way for most of his working life. We discussed that it probably stems from his not wanting to self promote himself and sound arrogant. I thought it was because he didn’t feel comfortable promoting himself so this was his way of avoiding it.

Is there something in your demeanor or speech which may be giving off the wrong impression? Find someone you can trust who can analyze you or get a video recorder and record an interview. You will be amazed what you do!

Like What You Do?

When I went to purchase a mattress 13 years ago I had a dilemma. My wife and I could buy a very expensive ($1000) mattress or we could find a cheaper mattress (~$300) We had this type of debate going on for a couple of days. It went like this: “Do we spend the money on the best mattress or will a good one do. My wife was leaning towards the expensive mattress and I the less expensive one. Guess who won?

Of course the winner was my wife but the goal of this story is not a who won or lost message. The salesman at the mattress store did a great job of selling us. I don’t remember much of what he said except for two statements. The first was “the mattress had a lifetime warranty.” That wasn’t really a true statement we found out later. The other statement he made, helped close the deal in my mind. It was: “In the next 10 years (length of time this mattress should hold up) you will sleep almost 30,000 hours in bed. This represents 1/3rd or your life. Would you rather they be the best quality sleep or not?” That sold me. I was ready to shell out whatever it took to not have to worry about the next 10 years or 1/3rd of my life. No worries, just pure sleep.

The point here is if you hate your job, quit. I am not advocating a mass exodus but a serious consideration to do what you want to do not what you hate. Over the next 10 years you will put in at least 22,500 hours of work (9 hours a day for 250 days a year for 10 years). Again about 1/3rd of your life. Wouldn’t it be great if it was work you enjoyed. Plan for it, TODAY!

Let’s Get Started!


Recruiters – Friend or Foe?

Another post on recruiters today because I believe we cannot discuss enough their role in the job search. Recruiters are VERY important at most all levels of job searching. Keep in mind though, most hiring manager do not use recruiters to fill their vacancies. There are millions and millions of businesses and only thousands of recruiters. Most company people try to find ways to hire without help from a recruiting firm before they give up the reigns.

Companies pay recruiters to find people for them…right? Companies pay recruiters to find people for them…right? One more time, companies pay recruiters to find people for them right? Ok you should by now get the picture that recruiters get paid by the company. Where do the recruiters loyalties lie? It lies with the companies NOT the job seeker….not the job seeker….NOT THE JOB SEEKER!

This doesn’t mean that recruiters don’t care about your job search or the challenges you are having or help you with a resume or what to say at an interview. I have met many recruiters and most if not all of them genuinely like to work with people. They are not trying to s***w anyone. What they sometimes are guilty of is leading candidates on. This is definitely not right and I struggle with them on this.

The “leading on” comes from the delicate balance a recruiter has with a company. Let me explain…recruiters are hired by a company to find people to fill a job opening. The recruiter is usually not under any contract with a company so the company can hire three or four recruiters to find people to interview for the same job opening. Recruiters try to keep a good relationship with the company’s human resources staff to anticipate when a company is ready to start interviewing. This anticipation is where many of the job seekers fall in.

When a recruiter is vague on the job description or when a company plans to interview is because the recruiter probably doesn’t know. Recruiters are waiting and waiting and many times still waiting for their connections at the company to give them the green light to start sending them people to consider. The recruiter doesn’t necessarily want you to find a job before the company they are courting becomes ready to hire. In addition, many times a recruiter will send resumes to a company’s HR team who they have worked with in the past. These resumes are not the ownership of the recruiter and if a company is interested in a candidate, the recruiting fee has to be paid.

Now on the company side, they don’t really care about this dance a recruiter has with a job seeker. They are evaluating candidates they have in their database or from referrals they receive internally before they are ready to “commit” to the recruiter. The company dances for many reasons but the primary one is money. The company usually has to pay 25% to 33% of a persons first year salary to a recruiter. So if the company is trying to hire a manager or sales person at $60,000, the “price tag” on a recruiter’s pick is about $18,000. If the company doesn’t have to pay that amount, they won’t.

So the dance goes on…companies not wanting to pay for hiring and the recruiter wanting to get paid. So in the end the recruiters will make the company happy some times at a candidates expense of “leading them on”. Now remember not all recruiter conduct themselves this way. Most of the good ones do not play this game as they have been in the industry for a solid amount of time. The challenge is to find a recruiter who is going to respect you.

We will discuss this topic in more detail next week…until then.

Let’s Get Started!


How Long Will It Take?

Why does job searching take so much time and require so much work? There are many reports done in analyzing the time required to complete a job search. One statistic that is routinely quoted is the one where for every $10,000 of income you are looking for requires 1 month of job searching. I think they should start out with a base of $30,000 and then tack on the $10,000 per month…

This calculation is a cheap way to try and quantify the time required to conduct a good job search. This is why it is either really quick and easy or really difficult to find what you are looking for. There is no real middle ground, just the extremes. So why do the extremes exist?

The extreme whereby your job search is quick and painless many times is completed because someone else contacted you ie. recruiter or friend or friend of a friend. These people are excellent resources for job search and can make the process seamless and quick. In addition, sometimes a job searcher can go from one pot to another without even realizing it. If you are doing a certain job, let’s say as a legal secretary. You change employers but not really changing your job or career direction. You can just go right back into a similar situation you left. Many times it even turns out worse.

The other extreme is when you are really looking for a new job or career and you search and search and just cannot find a company willing to give you the time of day let alone look at your resume. You depend on the statistic over-viewed above for solace. You think if you can just get to the six month time, you will find the right job paying $75k.

Find someone who started looking for a job, found one in 2 or 3 months and ask how they did it. They will probably explain the number of people they talked to, the number of emails sent, the number of jobs applied for on CareerBuilder or Monster or other job board, etc. They will also explain the number of calls and rewrites on their resume and cover letters they made. These are all the activities of a good job search. It is tedious and very challenging. However, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will get finished. There is no rule of thumb of how long, but it is more relative to how much work you put into it.

Let’s Get Started!


No More Excuses

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It has taken me a few days to get out from under the piles of work I accumulated while on my Christmas break. I am not sure it is better to take time off or just keep working. If I take time off, I typically have twice as much work for twice as much time. I then have to put in “off hours” to get things done. Whine…Whine…Whine – ok I will stop since everyone has the same battles.

Back to Job Searching….well the new year is hear so you have no more excuses on why you haven’t started job searching. You had other people in your corner on why not start the search before or during the holidays. Now they are over and it is time to get busy….NOW!

What do you do first? Great question. First things first and this is in your activities. Don’t do anything until you figure out where you are going. Don’t just put together a resume and send it out in hopes someone will “plug you in” to their company. This may happen but probably with either the wrong company or the wrong job. So think, ask and try out new pathways.

Think about what you really want to do next in your working life. Think about trying out a new job. You don’t have to keep it forever just try it on for size. Once you have a couple of ideas, start thinking about what you are doing in your current job that has given you the skills needed for this new endeavor. Start writing down some of your responsibilities, activities and successes from your most recent jobs. Begin your personal marketability analysis on YOU.

Ask others what they think you should do next. Having their opinion may help you decide on your own. This is true because when you start verbally discussing your options and have someone to “bounce them off of” it becomes an exercise in by definition. An exercise helps to build up whatever you are exercising. You are building up your skill at figuring out what is next.

Lastly, you need to experience some new environments and jobs. This will help you determine if your ideal job is really what you are looking for. Try and visit the type of places you want to work. Observe the people and place in action. Envision yourself there doing one of the jobs. Is it what you thought it was or do you want to consider another one? This activity will help design your next job.

DON’T LET THE JOB COME TO YOU! Most times if you don’t search out a new job, the ones that find you may not be really what you are looking for. This is not the case all the time but many times it is. Don’t be a passive searcher, be active. It is the only real way to do it. If you stumble through life, life will happen to you instead of you to it.

Let’s Get Started!