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"It's never been so hard to get a job"
"In the past I got every job I applied for, what gives?"
Here’s the deal - most of the people who tell me this are in GenX (or beyond) and we all came up when there wasn’t a job board on every proverbial corner. That means that back then fewer people were applying for each job and you and I were more targeted in our applications. Often we found job opportunities through a combination of our network (word-of-mouth) and ads in the paper. (Ah, the good old days when we scratched our heads and wondered WHY a company like Campbell’s soup would give you a www address on their TV commercials!)
Technology has brought us some great advances but with it we’ve all gotten a bit lazy - especially when it comes to job hunting.
As a recruiter it’s phenomenal to have incoming traffic to a job posting - but only if those applicants are qualified.
As a candidate it’s almost too simple:
Search for a job by job title (and maybe location)
Click on the job posting and do a cursory look at what it says
Click on Easy apply and
If that’s been your M.O. and you’re not getting any calls there are 3 possibilities:
You’re not actually qualified for the job
Your resume doesn’t show you’re qualified for the job
The company was already far along in the hiring process but keeps all jobs posted until a contract is signed and the new hire shows up for Day 1
What can you do instead?
Get super clear on your why for this next job. As I’ve mentioned many times before it’s perfectly fine for your WHY to be “I have a mortgage that needs to get paid ASAP so I don’t lose my house.” Although most Why’s my client’s share with me include things like flexibility AND income that meets their needs. Others are looking for the next step in their career progression and still others want an opportunity to learn more about their chosen field.
This step is the most crucial part of your job search and it’s the one most likely to be glossed over or skipped.
Our society rewards action and even busy work and when we slow down enough to decipher our whys it feels counter-productive. Trust me, it’s vital to your ability to find your next job and to find work that allows you to be happy at work (and at home).
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you ponder your work why:
How many hours am I willing to spend at work (whether WFH or in the office)?
What hours am I most productive?
What boundaries do I need to impose in order to do great work for my employer and be full present for my life?
What income must I have in order to maintain my quality of life?
What exchanges can I make in order to achieve work-life balance? (i.e., Can I take a lower salary for the freedom to work from home or set a flexible schedule based on outcomes instead of time at a desk?)
Am I excited about learning a new industry/field/role and willing to take a junior role in order to build my expertise in that new industry?
Do I have enough money saved in order to make decisions in my (and my family’s best interest?)
What is the most important outcome I expect to get from my new job?
Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list at all. The point being work is ONE facet of your life. And like all of life, sometimes it’s just not fair. The odds shift in your favor when you determine your priorities and boundaries, because no one else can do that for you.
Once you’ve become very clear on your priorities for your next job (and notice I’m not presuming this next job will be your FOREVER job because that’s not a thing for most people anymore), you have the opportunity to identify if the company with the job posting is going to meet your needs in the first place.
This requires you do research!
(Next week we’ll discuss how to research companies to see if they are fit for you)
Coming May 17 at 8pm Eastern - Crafting a Career You Love Porch Chat.
Join us for a Q&A event to talk about job hunting, answer the sticky questions about interviewing and salary negotiations and move into greater clarity about what will make you happy at work. $17.95 for one event or included in your paid subscription to this very newsletter!
Focus on your Job Search without distractions with one-to-one coaching.
You have questions that are unique to you, your background and your job history and I have answers to help you navigate the current world of job-hunting.
Each session is built around where you are in the job-hunting process.
Are you getting lots of pre-screening calls but no 2nd round interviews?
Are you applying to hundreds of jobs without a single call from the company?
Feeling dread every time it comes to talking about your salary expectations?
When we work together we target your specific strengths and challenges in the job search and you get detailed, action steps to move you further in the process.
Coaching is provided in 30 minute sessions with a sliding scale fee - that means YOU decide what works for you and your budget. Clients choose any amount between $45.00 for a half hour to $150.00 for a half hour.
Ready to ignite your job search? Click here to learn how you can find your happy at work.
As always, you are INVALUABLE and together we’ll find your happy at work.