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  • 6 Things You Learn in a Job Search

    pants-1255851_640There are a lot of truths you will discover about yourself and others in the job search process.

    Everything from recommendations to referrals, to people you have helped and now cannot seem to find 5 minutes to call you back, to the way you can insure your job search process is as smooth and professional as it can be,

    Bottom Line: Searching for a job is a job.

    Six Universal Truths and Truisms

    Here are Six Universal Truths and Truisms I have discovered in searching for a job. I have been on both sides of this equation and I have to admit I have not always been the most responsive. However, I do indeed try. And, what I’ve learned is … sometimes you just cannot get back to everyone. And, yes … I do feel badly about that. I hope people don’t hold that against me, but if they do perhaps these tips will help explain a little more.

    One – Everyone has Great Intentions

    Give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume they have the best intentions.

    Assume best intentions, but be realistic. See point two.

    Don’t hold that against them. Let their best intentions come out.

    Two – Everyone is Busy

    • Just as you will be when you find your next great challenge.
    • Expect people to be busy.
    • Don’t expect them to drop everything for you.
    • Do expect them to, eventually, follow up.

    For the ones that don’t follow up in a manner you expected … just remember they’re busy … just like you will be when you start back into the working world.

    Again, don’t hold it against them. When they reach out for help in the future treat them the way you want to be treated.

    Three – Follow Up

    • People are people. Time is a luxury that doesn’t treat everyone fairly or equally. Just remember … they are people.
    • They have competing priorities.
    • Work within their parameters.

    Four – Ask!

    If you don’t know something… Ask!

    While you might feel a bit awkward asking about someone’s priorities… Trust me the smart ones don’t mind sharing. Why? Because then you know how to work within their parameters. If they won’t share … respect that. But, it might be a red flag.

    Three Things you can and should be ready to realistically ask:

    For a friend:
    Ask: Who’s hiring for someone with my skills?

    Your pre-amble can be different. For example, you might say … I’m looking to make a change, or my role is going away, or I need a new challenge. Then ask your question (see above for one example)

    Warning: You are opening the door to a candid conversation about this person’s perception of your skills. Encourage that and ask them to be candid.

    I encourage people to be Brutally Candid

    For a recruiter
    Ask: What is the timing on filling this role?

    The answer you are seeking is to get a sense of the priority in filling the role. If they’re just sort of looking around, first off the job probably shouldn’t of posted, but if they’re serious they should be able to tell you a rough timeframe.

    To a hiring manager:
    Ask: Based on what you see from my resume and from talking to me what am I missing that might prevent you from moving my candidacy forward?

    Asking for candid feedback is a skill and one that requires you to be willing to listen with an open mind.Developing this skill is one that will help you stand out in your career.

    Pro tip: If somebody doesn’t share their goals or answer your questions in an honest and forthright manner this may not be someplace you want to work.

    Five – Thank You

    Just two simple words can go a long way.

    Remember to use them.

    Use them early and often.

    Six – Remember

    Remember how you felt.

    Remember to give back when you do you land your next job.

    Remember how it was as you were searching.

    Your Own Best Advocate

    Ultimately you have to be your own best self advocate. These six tips should be able to help you get and keep the ball rolling. Just remember that it ultimately it comes down to you. Yes, people can open doors for you. But, don’t expect it. Yes, people will make introductions for you and smooth the path. Appreciate it and thank people for opening doors.

    Expect people to be busy, but also expect them to follow up. Especially if they committed to do so. Softly and gently remind them once or twice. If that doesn’t help remember point two.

    Good luck and please share your experiences in the comments so we can all learn from your successes. Please share the truths you have discovered about yourself during your job search process. Share what you learned about others too. We can all learn something from each other.

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    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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    Posted in Career Development, Job Search, Success Strategies
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