In a recent Spartan Up podcast Joe Desena quotes Ken Blanchard saying:
There are people that are committed and there are people who are interested
The difference is that the people who are interested do it when it is fun and people who are committed do it all the time. So I ask you… Are you committed to your job search or just interested in it? I get it, searching for a job SUCKS! It is a job in and of itself and the pay stinks. You apply online and never get a response. You feel like you are back in high school and everyone is breaking up with you by not calling you. Going through your job search can be isolating and frustrating but it doesn’t have to be.
If you are only interested in finding a new job then you won’t break through the uncomfortable feeling you get when you think about reaching out to people you don’t know. Or maybe you haven’t even posted on Facebook that you are looking for a job because it would be embarrassing. You need to learn to only be embarrassed about the things worth being embarrassed about.
It’s time to be committed to your job search
First and foremost you need to start reaching out to your network. I have had several friends over the years who know I am a recruiter and they never tell me they are looking for a job. No, I am not end all be all when it comes to job search advice (no one is) but I probably could have saved them some time in finding a job or maybe they wouldn’t have missed that opportunity they REALLY wanted. Start today.
It is still more about who you know than what you know
Start by making a list of people in your network already that you want to reach out to. Think of church, past co-workers, organizations you have been involved in, etc… Break it down in to small goals, say one or two people a day. Next, set a goal of also finding one new person to add to your network each day. You can use LinkedIn, Twitter, Associations, etc… Then get to it! Don’t wait till the end of the day either. Do these things first thing in the morning. Your morning is often the only time of day you can control. As the book Eat That Frog says, if you had to eat a frog each and every day would you rather wait till the end of the day and dread it all day or do it first thing and get it out of the way? First things first!
I could go on and on but you know the things you NEED to do. Stop reading this and go do them! No really, go on… get!
Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
Most of us take the path of least resistance in our job search. Unfortunately, that is usually the longest path and it may have the greatest cost. Taking the most direct path to any goal is usually the most difficult and the most uncomfortable. But taking the easy and comfortable road can cost you in your job search. Ever heard of opportunity cost?
noun: opportunity cost; plural noun: opportunity costs
the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.
The cost of NOT doing something is often times much greater than doing it. For instance, in your job search. How many people have you NOT connected with on LinkedIn? How many friends have you NOT told you were looking for a job? That can have a REAL cost. I have known plenty of people that have missed out on opportunities because they were late to the game. Even the lowest hanging fruit of all in your job search, job postings, have an opportunity cost. I personally have only posted some positions for only 24 hours while others have dragged on for months. Companies fill some openings before the current employee works out their two week notice. What are you NOT doing that is costing you?
Just Do It!
Nike made that phrase famous but we all need to keep it in mind. Any time you think about contacting someone… Just Do It! Yes, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable but what is the worst that can happen? The could say no. Big deal. Bigger deal… they could say YES! Get creative when looking for people to connect with. I encourage job seekers to find the people that have the type of job they want then look how those people got there.
Do you have a superficial attachment to what others think?
Tim Ferriss often references stoic teachings in his podcast and this is one that hit me between the eyes. How many times do we not do something just because we wonder “what would other people think?” We need to be ashamed of the things only worth being ashamed of. Is contacting a hiring manager directly worth being ashamed of? No. Remember that article you read about the candidate that took their resume to the company directly and asked if the hiring manager was available? Have you done that? But to overcome this superficial attachment we have to what others think we need to practice.
Intentional practice getting comfortable being uncomfortable
Some of the ways to practice can be VERY helpful and quite simple.
- Ask for a discount EVERY TIME you buy something – I heard one guy asking a clerk “do you have a good guy discount?”
- If something, do something about it – I often times see people walk by trash on the floor and not pick it up. Unless you work in a union environment, pick it up!
- Instead of searching for that item at the store, ask someone – yes gentlemen, I am speaking to you!
- Ask people to borrow things – that neighbor who has an awesome saw you could use… ask to borrow it.
- Help people – If you see someone unloading a grocery cart as you are headed into the store, tell them you will take it back in for them.
If you start looking for these things you will realize there are opportunities EVERYWHERE! The most uncomfortable thing I have done lately? An older gentleman was unloading his groceries from his Walmart scooter into his car. I told him I would return it for him. That was the longest trip into Walmart! As a bonus, I felt great about it the rest of the day.
Have your really tried everything in your job search?
I hear people say this a lot in their job search. Maybe you have, but I bet you haven’t or haven’t tried it for very long. The more money you want to make or the more specific the position, the longer the job search is likely to take and the more effort it will take. If you find yourself saying “that will never work” when someone gives you some job search advise then you have not tried everything. Keep in mind you do want to start with things that have the greatest ROI. Handing out resumes at your subway stop might work but if you have not already spent time networking you can spend your time more wisely.
Do. Or do not. There is no try.