Monday, August 10, 2009

Take Your Job Search Medicine!

I am the most non-compliant person I know. I sit before any doctor, confident of my Good Housekeeping-formed medical knowledge with a Google kicker. I am ready to say why I know better than this guy who’s surely in the clutches of the drug companies. It’s clear that echinacea tea, not an antibiotic, is indicated here. About half of the people who get prescriptions fail to fill them. I am the president of that group.

I hate it when my clients don’t do what I tell them to do. The process and the timeline are fairly predictable, with the told age/skills/economy as a variable. Finding a job is a numbers game. Make this many real contracts and you’ll have a job. Do this with your resume. Give yourself a daily structure. Be with people who’ll keep you on an accountability trail. Do whatever it takes to keep your spirit up because attitude is everything. Be specific about what you’re pursuing. Be honest with yourself: are you going after your dream job, your Plan B, or just-a-job? Talk with your family, but before you count on them as cheerleaders, understand whether they’re your loudest critic. Don’t hide under the rock of Internet resume submissions or a call to a recruiter and call it a job search.

Finding a job is not the tidy, push-button console in a "Star Trek" movie. It feels like the day job it is, bloody hand-to-hand combat on a daily basis, and you’re the wounded combatant who has to walk and talk like a hero, while sewing up the hole in your self-esteem, with no anesthetic, at day's end.

I know better than most how difficult it can be to hard and follow advice. I pray daily to remain teachable.

You now this thing is not rocket science, so you shrug on your self-confidence suit and tie your self-reliance shoes and head into the joblessness swamp. What too often happens is that you're faking the confidence thing, you’ve worn the wrong shoes, and you’re ignoring the guide holding the light at its edge.

If you have a guide — an outplacement counselor, a career strategist, a friend who’s agreed to be your helper in your job search, take that as a gift. If you develop goals together, take the good advice you get, and check in on a regular basis. You'll find you have punched the accelerator button on your job-finding boat.

Let’s make a deal. You take the advice of your guide and I’ll buy the antibiotic; we’ll both be better for it.

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