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Job Search Drudgery

I really enjoy reading a marketing/life change artist blog by a guy named Seth Godin.  Seth has a very unique way of telling a great story that gets into the deepest parts of your psyche.  His blog post today is about change and want to repost it here for you:

Extending the narrative 

Did you wake up fresh today, a new start, a blank slate with resources and opportunities… or is today yet another day of living out the narrative you’ve been engaged in for years?

For all of us, it’s the latter. We maintain our worldview, our biases, our grudges and our affections. We nurse our grudges and see the very same person (and situation) in the mirror today that we did yesterday. We may have a tiny break, a bit of freshness, but no, there’s no complete fresh start available to us.

Marketers have been using this persistence to their advantage forever. They sell us a car or a trip or a service that fits the story we tell ourselves. I don’t buy it because it’s the right thing for everyone, I buy it because it’s right for me, the us I invented, the I that’s part of the story I’ve been telling myself for a long time.

The socialite walks into the ski shop and buys a $3000 ski jacket she’ll wear once. Why? Not because she’ll stay warmer in it more than a different jacket, but because that’s what someone like her does. It’s part of her story. In fact, it’s easier for her to buy the jacket than it is to change her story.

If you went to bed as a loyal company man or an impatient entrepreneur or as the put-upon retiree or the lady who lunches, chances are you woke up that way as well. Which is certainly safe and easy and consistent and non-confusing. But is it helping?

We dismiss the mid-life crisis as an aberration to be avoided or ridiculed, as a dangerous blip in a consistent narrative. But what if we had them all the time? What if we took the resources and trust and momentum that helps us but decided to let the other stuff go?

It’s painful to even consider giving up the narrative we use to navigate our life. We vividly remember the last time we made an investment that didn’t match our self-story, or the last time we went to the ‘wrong’ restaurant or acted the ‘wrong’ way in a sales call. No, that’s too risky, especially now, in this economy.

So we play it safe and go back to our story.

The truth though, is that doing what you’ve been doing is going to get you what you’ve been getting. If the narrative is getting in the way, if the archetypes you’ve been modeling and the worldview you’ve been nursing no longer match the culture, the economy or your goals, something’s got to give.

When decisions roll around–from what to have for breakfast, to whether or not to make that investment to what TV show (or none) to watch on TV tonight, the question to ask is: Is this a reflex that’s part of my long-told story, or is this actually a good decision? When patterns in engagments with the people around you become well-worn and ineffective, are they persistent because they have to be, or because the story demands it?

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5 Job Searching Tips

The following 5 job searching tips are not your traditional tips.  They are intended to shake your core a little and get you moving.  If offensive, I apologize ahead of time.  But (there is always a but isn’t there?) remember sometimes the toughest thing to hear is what makes you change and succeed.

Job Searching Tip #1:  You are LAZY…stop being lazy.  Most job seekers I meet are really not that hungry for a new job.  They are searching online four, five and even six hours a day.  They say things like: “I sent out 500 resumes and haven’t heard a thing….no responses.  There are no jobs out there.  The economy sucks and …”  When you hear yourself say this or others, get mad and call yourself or them L-A-Z-Y because you are.  You are lazy because you spend so much time doing things that don’t get results and then you blame “outside forces” beyond your control so you don’t have to look at why you are not succeeding.  Get off your butt and get out there.  Your new job is searching for another one and you can’t do that by being lazy and making excuses.

Job Searching Tip #2:  You must put in overtime on this, your new job.  When it gets down to it, a job search can take anywhere from 150 to 500+ hours to complete.  When I had my consulting business, I actually job searched for individuals.  They paid me a fee to do the work for them because they were too busy (or just scared).  Why I could not make a lot of money at it was because of the time required to find leads, connect with the hiring manager and get an interview.  This took a lot of focused energy.  I calculated it took between 150 and 500+ hours to find what was needed to get interviews.  If you are not willing to put in 10 to 12 hour a day on your job search, it will take months and months to complete.  So you have to plan ahead of time to work 50 to 60 hours a week if you want to really find something fast.  It is not just putting in the time.  Instead it is taking the time to hit walls and figure out ways to get over them, put your own feelings on the back burner and do the right activities to find the right opportunities.  It is focused time in the right directions that produces results.

Job Searching Tip #3:  It is NOT a “numbers game”.  Those of you who think if I just send out enough resumes eventually one will work.  I am here to tell you that you should not look at job searching that way.  It really is not a numbers game with resumes.  Yes you might eventually find a job this way so it has a little merit.  However, a numbers game is what should be termed “a gamble”.  Do you really want to gamble with your job searching activities?  I am here to tell you shouldn’t.  It won’t get the job done and you are just fooling yourself.  Gambling is for those who have time and money on their side, not the beginners.

Job Searching Tip #4:  You are an immature baby, scared of your own shadow.  You really are.  You ignore good teaching on how to find a job because you won’t let your brain be open to ideas and things that make you nervous.  Just admit it, you are scared.  Yes you are…you are scared.  Don’t shy away from it.  Instead recognize you are scared and find ways to help smooth out your fears.  Most of us get nervous in interviews, in tense situations when everything is on the line and some people are just plain nervous in social situations.  Ok, I get that…now you need to get it too.  Know thyself first and find tools and techniques for you to get past Y-O-U.  So you are scared, big freakin’ deal.  Stop being a baby and running away from your fears.  We all have them.  Embrace, develop technique to minimize your nervousness and move forward.

Job Searching Tip #5 (my personal favorite) – STOP telling yourself you are not going to find a new job and other stupid things you say to yourself in the shower, dark of night, when you are driving, etc.  You are your own enemy when it comes to keeping your head in this job searching game.  You struggle between good thoughts and bad thoughts with the bad ones winning out most of the time.  They start in small ways but then they seep deeper and deeper into your head like a constant dripping.  Turn the faucet off.  You have very important skills, experience, drive, passion and heart.  You do…your really do.  Everyone has something to give in this world even you.  Stop bringing yourself down with your constant dripping of negative words and thoughts.  Changing this requires you to mechanically remind yourself of what you offer.  Putting motivating quotes up in the bathroom, listening to motivational audio products, watching motivating video products, and others activities like it are all ways to mechanically change your thinking.

These job searching tips are so crucial to being successful in your job search.  Stop whining and start working.

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Who Needs A Job?

Raise your hand if you are one of those people who needs a job?  Do you just need a new job or you don’t have one and need one as soon as possible?

I ask who needs a job because I want to better understand who is visiting my blog these days.  Are most of your employed or not? So leave me a comment below so I can better understand….please?

The “who needs a job” statement make me wonder if you are desperate.  If you are, always remember desperation can encourage you to make bad decisions.  Now the desperation won’t do it but your feelings of desperation can cloud your judgement.  So the point I want to make with this post is to remind you that if you are feeling desperate in your job search, you might be inclined to listen to wrong advice or make spontaneous decisions.

This is why you really need to plan out your job search a little before you get going.  You don’t need a rigid plan in place that you don’t adjust along the way.  What you do need is a list of basic goals for what you are trying to find in the way of a new job.  Something like:

– How much time will you work on your search each day?

– What type of job are you most qualified for?

– What type of job can you make the most money AND is this what you really want to do?

– Do you require an interim job until you find the right one for the long term?

– What is your long term job desire?

– Do you need a flexible job so you can go back to school or get some additional training for your long term goal?

All these type of questions should be answered ahead of time.  Then when you get in the middle of your search, you can go back and review what your goals are.  This review process will give you a foundation to review every opportunity along the way.

Another important thing putting a plan on paper does is helps you get out of your head the things that are swirling around causing you confusion or second guessing your decisions.  The more stuff you keep in your head the greater the chances are that you will be swayed by emotional ups and downs during your job search.  Finding ways to keep yourself grounded is so important.

So if you are one who raised your hand for the question “Who needs a job” then keep the above things in mind.  Try not to let desperation seep into your head during your job search.  You will search better and faster if you don’t.

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