I can almost hear your voice saying, “Oh really? You’ve got some nerve! Let me tell you my story!!!”
Many of the Employment Advice blogs I write prompt comments from other Employment Counsellors from all over the world. Almost all of them, from North America to Europe, Australia to Africa, South America to the Arctic say something to the effect of, “Good advice. I’ve been saying the same thing for years and am constantly amazed people still don’t get it!”
Looking for work in 2014 in some respects is unique to searching for a job in the past. In other respects, absolutely nothing has changed over time since people first started advertising for help, and others responded to those inquiries. Employment Advisors and Counsellors don’t have all the answers, but if this was a game of baseball, boy would we have a high batting average. Here’s why.
Employers want good qualified candidates, and don’t want to spend a long time interviewing and meeting the wrong people. So they share what they are looking for with Recruiters, Employment Advisors, Consultants, Counsellors and Placement people in addition to job posting qualifications. This collective group is often asked to do some of the initial collection of resumes and screening of candidates. In order for the Recruiter or Employment Placement professional to have a good ongoing relationship with the employer, they want to pass on solid candidates for the employer to interview. If the employer is happy with the people being passed on to them as likely job candidates, they waste less time and money, and can select an ultimate winner from a strong field.
For this reason, many employers use agencies to do pre-screening. If you are a job applicant, you might resent this process and long for the good old days when you knew who the employer actually was right off the bat and could avoid this middle-man and speak directly to the employer. Well in a nutshell, too bad; it’s not about you quite frankly and what you want and what works for you. The hiring process is about the employer and what works best for THEM not you. If you didn’t know that already, you’re welcome. This is also why anyone who starts off a resume saying they are looking for a job where they can grow and learn etc. is ruled out – employers aren’t charities, it isn’t about what you want. It is about how you will fix a problem for THEM, address a need OF THEIRS, HELP THEM expand etc.
So knowing this, you may want to first re-think the idea of using an Employment Counsellor or Agency to help you along. The best thing you could do quite frankly is what I’d normally tell you to be wary of, and that is to completely put your trust in them and do exactly what they advise you to do in all respects. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t question things, but question the reasoning so you learn instead of questioning the logic and being resistant.
I’m not suggesting job seekers in 2014 know nothing and Advisors know it all – that’s arrogant. However, there is a huge number of people looking for work who are having limited or no success at all, who stubbornly refuse to try doing things differently. If what you’re doing isn’t working as borne out by your lack of results, something has to change wouldn’t you agree? It may be you need help in the research stage, the application stage, the interview stage, the follow-up stage, the negotiation stage, etc. Wherever you are getting bogged down is the key area that these people can help you identify issues and come up with possible solutions for moving past these barriers.
Hearing advice and making a commitment to actually use the advice are two very different things. I myself know of many clients who appear to be sincerely appreciative of the advice I’ve given after having interviewed them and talked about their situation. Yet, when I’ve followed up, many also are plodding along essentially doing what they’ve previously done. The reason it seems is that it’s more comfortable to them, they didn’t get immediate results and have reverted to what they know best. To illustrate by example, it’s like people insisting on using rotary phones instead of digital phones; stuck in the past, clinging to what once worked.
Now if you REALLY want to make headway try this. Set up a meeting with an Employment Counsellor or Advisor. Tell them right up front you’re putting yourself in their hands 100% and you’ll act on ALL suggestions they make as long as they explain the, ‘why’ behind their suggestions so you can buy in. Now also tell them you expect results because you’re committed and want to be positive. Also set up immediately two follow-up appointments in the first 10 minutes of the initial meeting. The person you are sitting with now will feel like they are working with a gem. Something in them will spark and they’ll bear down and perhaps go above and beyond in your case.
It is not just good advice but critical that you then actually hold yourself accountable and do what you’ve agreed to do with a fresh attitude. Things might seem unnecessary, difficult, hard, strange, unneeded; they aren’t. They will be essential. Do it all and you’ll increase your chances of successfully getting job offers.