Today I wanted to cover something that can kill your job search, and your new job, if you aren’t careful.
Let’s say, you graduate with a degree in your chosen field from an institution of higher learning, but, for one reason or another, it takes months, or maybe a year or more, to get an interview with a company in your field.
The interviewer will notice this time gap and he will ask you, “so, you graduated X amount of time ago. What have you been doing since then?” You think, “uh oh, I have been found out”. Then you get wobbly and weak, and squeak out the easy answer: “looking for a job.”
Or worse, you get belligerent and out of frustration, you bark: “looking for job but nobody is hiring.” Then you complain about how unfair life is, and how hard your struggle is.
While this information maybe technically accurate, neither of these responses are the correct response.
Nobody cares about you and your needs. That is rule number one. Learn it, accept it, and internalize it.
- “I have been actively networking with and reaching out to leaders in our industry, seeking to increase my overall knowledge, learning where I best fit, and developing relationships”.
- “In addition I have been studying the trade journals and keeping up to date on everything so that when I find a great opportunity I can hit the ground running”.
The idea is to always position yourself as someone who is doing the work needed to increase their value. You might get asked more bluntly, “why haven’t you found a job yet?” The solution there would be to remain calm, and just say, “job search is time consuming, which is why I am happy to be here today. Let’s talk about what you have going on here.”
What you want to avoid is using the interview as a chance to vent and complain about how unfair the world is. Make no mistake, the world is not fair, but this is not the time or place to vent.
Now let’s say you land the position. This is where it’s critical that you actually have kept up on industry developments and technical knowledge. At some point, your new employer will make a demand on your skill set. If you drop the ball, and appear clueless, you’re out. You’ll be sidelined, and kept out of the loop, if not outright fired.
I see this a lot when adults come out of vocational training of some sort, and they can’t get a job right away. They neglect to study their materials and industry developments, and how to use their tools and technology. Then, when they land a job, they can’t do anything without having their hands held. Employers don’t have time for that, and if you are too slow to catch on, it’s curtains.
So, in addition to all the work you do on your job search, don’t forget to maintain your skills and knowledge. Stay informed, up-to-date and positive.
Can’t find the time? Shut off the TV. Check Facebook less often. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day on self maintenance, and you will be much better off when you do get hired.
Until next time, I wish you all the best.
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach, teaching their proven methodology to private clients in all fields and disciplines. – I will teach you to apply the methodology to YOUR specific situation. Find me at linkedin.com/in/patrickinternational
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