I enjoy gardening a great deal. This year, I’m spending my vacation at home doing some landscaping which includes creating some new garden beds where the grass used to be. As I was gardening however, a curious parallel came to mind that had to do with job searching.
My experience at other properties I have owned in the past meant that to create a new garden, I would first rip up the grass area with a shovel. When I went out to do so at my current property, I was disappointed to see how compacted the earth and grass were however, and could see how difficult the shovel method would be. It would take a very long time. Then I thought back to some workers that had been on the property when they had to make an adjustment to the slope of the property line. Four men came and used pick axes to hack at the grass, and remove it. Well, I had a pick axe too.
Now my pick axe saw very little action up to this year, primarily used for digging holes for trees in tough areas. However, I made quick work of removing the grass by using the wide end of the pick axe to skim away the lawn just where the grass met the soil. I repeated this process in several areas where I wanted the gardens to be, and then used it to break up compacted earth which came away in chunks. Now the shovel was used to remove those chucks into the wheelbarrow. I had found a new use for a tool that made the job easier by watching and learning from someone else.
Applying that same idea to the job search, there are lots of, “tools” that job searchers use to become employed. One of the most common is the computer. How do you typically use the computer to job search? Are there other ways to use the computer you typically don’t? For example, sure you can research companies and type up your resume and email it to employers. This is fairly common to most job seekers. However, if you haven’t done so, try some other things with the computer to help you out. Go to Youtube and type in some of the following words and here’s what you’ll get:
1) Job Interview tips. You’ll get numerous videos on the topic. Some are from professionals with really good ideas for succeeding.
2) Common Interview questions. Here you’ll get short videos on the questions most likely to be asked at a job interview.
3) Behavioural Event Interviewing. This is a popular interview style many interviewers now use. Understand it better and your chances of a good interview go up.
4) Funny Job Interviews. Okay this will get you comic relief. Some are just bizarre, some a waste of your time, but laughter during a job search is not such a bad thing in moderation. Don’t stay for hours.
5) Job Interview success. You’ll get many interviewers ideas on successfully competing for employment.
Of course there are many different things you could type into a browser such as Google, or my favourite – Bing – that will help you with your job search. You have this powerful tool at your disposal and are only limited by your imagination and ability to think. Look up what you are most concerned about. If you are depressed or frustrated during the job search, type, “Job search frustration” into an engine and see what comes up. Might be something helpful there. Always consider the source of the information and don’t rely too much on any one source for the best advice.
If you find a blogger you enjoy reading that provides helpful information, you might want to follow them, and get their information whenever they write. Maybe you’re into Twitter and if so, tweeting is very immediate, maybe you can get a jump on job postings if people know you are looking. The point is, there are many helpful things you can do with a computer with an internet connection other than the typical things everyone does who are job searching like you.
So, like my tools in the garden shed, using the right tool for the job search is important, but every so often look at other tools and think about how they might be useful to you – especially the tools that you don’t use as much. Getting tips from experienced job seekers and professionals who work in the field of employment coaching or Career Advisors might give you new ideas on the job search that you haven’t been using.