No Applications? No Interviews. No Job. Simple.

The best way to get a 100% guarantee that employers will continue to reject and decline to offer you interviews is to stop applying for jobs altogether. Do this and you’ll be done with frustration, stress and the cycle of applying with hope only to taste the acrid bitterness of rejection; then to reapply again with optimism etc. Yes, give it up now and escape from voluntarily setting yourself up for ongoing disappointment.

Of course if you follow that opening advice, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands. Time that initially will seem like a wave of relief washing over you. After all, no more scouring the internet and job boards for minimum wage, entry-level jobs. No more fruitless networking meetings, resumes to tailor to specific jobs, no more need for LinkedIn; the freedom to post online whoever you are, whatever you want without a thought or care about who sees what. No more emails to send, nor the need to be checking your phone for possible invitations that never come. What a relief indeed!

The downside of course is that all this free time doesn’t exactly stop your brain from wandering back to thoughts of employment. Without a job or even looking for one, you’ve got about 7 hours a day, 35 hours a week, 140 hours a month etc. that you wouldn’t have if you were working. How many of those hours are you going to fill productively doing other things? Reading, traveling, exercising, watching television, fixing things around the home; all good in their own way, but for how long are these things going to keep bringing you the happiness they do now?

The most obvious stress for many is where does the money materialize from to allow you to keep living where you do now? There’s the rent or mortgage, food, utilities, repairs, transit, clothing, your morning jolt of caffeine. What about entertainment, unexpected expenses, illnesses, new glasses, dental visits, prescriptions, the virus protection on the laptop that needs renewing? Just a small list… So you start getting frugal if you haven’t already; thinking strategically about what you can do without; what you’re willing to sacrifice. That gets stressful after awhile doesn’t it? I mean, saying you’ll do without item B because you won’t give up item A only to find that in two month’s time your ‘must have’ item A is something you have to part with to keep item C. This is living?

Sometimes all these decisions just seem overwhelming right? Sure they do. This is when some people turn to self-medication which never really seems to have much of a lasting affect. Oh for a while they shift your thinking and provide short-term relief. In the long-run however the medications wear off and you’re back dealing with the original thoughts and you’ve added the lower self-worth and need for self-medication to your list of things to be disappointed with in yourself.

The thing about stressing while in a job search is that you’ve got one thing to hold on to that makes the frustration of a job search worth the effort; there’s the hope of success. Get into the interview stage when you’ve had a rough time even having your applications acknowledged and you’re making progress. Have a good interview or two and you feel the momentum building. Build on the momentum and you find your making the short-list; getting down to the last cuts. Get the job and all that frustration leading up to this moment suddenly becomes worthwhile. You appreciate the job more when you get it, you experience a moment of gratitude and appreciation for what it took to get you there.

All those expressions about putting in the hard work to get what you want, keeping your eyes focused on the destination or anything worth having is worth working for etc. suddenly have real meaning. You earned this one.

Gone are the days when many people got the first job they applied to or jobs just dropped into their laps without really even looking. Gone are the times when your good looks, natural charm, sexy clothing or mom could get you the job just for the asking. Well for most of us; there are still some regressive employers who still hire sexy, but think about it; do you really want to work for a person who hired you based on that? What are you setting yourself up for in the future? Get hired based on merit, job-specific and transferable skills, experience and you’re better off.

Don’t give up, give in, lose hope, listen to pessimism and grind your job search to a halt. Stick with your quest for employment and apply for jobs. Do your best to keep that positive outlook but allow yourself to be human and acknowledge the disappointment and frustration that a prolonged job search can bring. You can simultaneously be disappointed with progress but optimistic that you’ll eventually succeed.

Athletes have trainers, coaches and rely heavily on those who have previously achieved success to mentor them. Why not follow the same formula when you’re after something you ultimately want too? Seeking support while job searching, having a professional coach instruct you in how to be most effective and then having the discipline and intelligence to actually follow the advice you’re given with a commitment to your own improvement is exactly what successful people do.

Of course there’s always the alternative…



Giving Your Best Vs. Being The Best

Only one person can truly be called the best. The term, “the best”, is actually losing it’s meaning in everyday conversation when you overhear someone saying things like, “Oh you’re the best friend ever”, or “This is the best ice cream ever”. Those people don’t really mean they’ve compared friends and ice creams and are making it official. They simply mean the friend is a really good friend; the ice cream tastes really good.

However, in the world of business and employment, there are ways to measure who is the top Salesperson, the team with the most consecutive days worked without an accident or the employee who produces the greatest number of defect-free products. These are examples where one person can truly be said to be the best and there is evidence to back up those statements.

However, giving your best may mean that while you don’t sell the most, or you still have an accident or produce products with defects, you improved on your performance and have had better results than previously. So yes your best resulted in an increase of 7% over last months totals; still short of the actual sales numbers of the top Salesperson, but your numbers when compared to your past numbers are higher.

It is the norm in some organizations to ensure that each person has an individual target for performance that is measurable and achievable for that one person. If the top Salesperson in a company is regularly selling 20 cars a month, surely 20 cars a month is unrealistic for someone who is just starting out. They might be given an initially target of 3 cars the entire month, and that number would be adjusted as their experience and skills improve.

Other companies do give the same targets to every employee no matter how long you’ve been there. When it comes to safety on an assembly line, all employees might be collectively working towards days with zero accidents. Telling one team to work accident-free and telling another team of relatively newer employees that 4 accidents a month is okay for them isn’t likely. They all work accident-free or they all start at day one again the day following an accident. It’s a collective target.

Now giving your best is something that everyone can achieve and be recognized for. The targets vary for performance, and each person is compared not to others in the workplace, but to their past performance. You sold 3 cars last month, your new target is 5. What other people are achieving isn’t factored in to your performance. You’re expected to give it your best, and if your best fails to result in targets the company sets, you can still be released, it’s just a case of your best falls short of their needs.

Take a Call Centre. They may have expectations that the length of your calls be a certain length, that you answer a certain volume of calls, sell a number of products or services on those calls. Your performance may be better than any other employee for the month – making you the best. Your performance numbers may actually be quite a bit lower than those at the top, but your best might show an improvement over the previous week, and you’re improving; your best is getting better.

Giving it your best may mean improving on your attendance, working with more focus and fewer distractions, investing in the training opportunities you are provided with, and generally putting more energy into your job.

You find in some organizations where all staff in a job classification receive identical pay each week that there is a noted difference nonetheless in the actual performance of employees. Some are truly invested in their work, strive to do better than they have in the past, etc. Others in that same role might not be as committed to working beyond what they have to do to keep their jobs. They all get the same pay, but some are giving it their best and some are not. One of the most frustrating things for Management might be getting the best out of each employee when pay is identical regardless of experience and skills.

If you want to find value in what you do, go home happier at the end of the day, and enjoy your work more when you are at your workplace, giving it your best is recommended There are many who sleep better and longer, nodding off with a smile on their face content with knowing their best was achieved that day. When we don’t give our best the obvious question to ask is, “Why aren’t we giving our best?”

My point here has not to do with that question, but more with encouraging us – yes I include myself here) to give our collective best each day. While some of us are motivated to win the title of, “The Best _______ ever”, I think a far greater number of people are better off being recognized for giving it their best.

If giving it your best is less than what an employer needs, being terminated and released means your fit with that kind of work or that specific employer was wrong. If you find yourself released or terminated and you know you didn’t give it your best, you should own up to that too and learn from the experience.

Strive to be your best – perhaps starting today and see where it takes you.



How One Man Landed A Job

This blog is all about how one person ended up successfully obtaining employment. Funny thing is he doesn’t deserve all the credit, nor do I, nor in fact does one of my colleagues yet…but I’m getting ahead of the story. Let me tell it to you in the sequence it happened. You can benefit from reading this whether you are looking for a job or you are someone who helps others with their employment. There’s something here for everyone.

It starts three weeks ago on day one of a Career Exploration class. Initially 60 people received a letter in the mail inviting them to this class. Of the 60 invited, on day one 24 people showed up. Of the 24 who showed up on that first day, 1 left after 10 minutes due to her high anxiety. Of the 23, 1 failed to return after the first mid-morning break and provided no explanation – just didn’t return. Of the 22 who completed the first day, 3 failed to come back on day 2. The 19 remaining after that first day completed the entire week.

As I facilitated the class, guiding each participant through numerous self-assessments, helping them to both complete and understand the results, I observed the people. I also got to know each person a little, how much they participated, did they show up on time, come early or arrive late. I saw too how well or poorly they interacted with others, and respected others views. Essentially yes, I sized each person up over the week, shaping my opinion of them with each comment they’d make, each behaviour I witnessed.

The two-weeks following the actual class itself, I met each person 1:1 for over an hour and discussed what they learned, what occupation(s) they might now want to pursue and got to know them even more. Each person was told the same thing; it was now up to them to take all that good information they found out about themselves, and research the jobs or careers their interests suggested might be a good fit. I knew even as I said those words to each person, only a small percentage would actually do the necessary work. Some had the interest and some didn’t. Some had the skills and others didn’t.

So now we are up to this week, and the schedule has me facilitating an Introduction to Computers class. At one point I called a break for 15 minutes and made the decision to leave the classroom for a stroll. Normally I’d turn right when leaving the class and head out of the Resource Centre and make my way back to my own office. On this day, I turned left however, and made a decision to look around the drop-in part of our Resource Centre and see if there was anyone there to say hello to. And that’s when I spied him.

There he was sitting at a computer job searching. When I asked what jobs he was looking for, he said he had decided on warehouse work, shipping and receiving – that sort of thing. And just then I recalled getting an email 1 day prior from a Job Developer whose office is next to mine about a company hiring people for such work. “Don’t go anywhere”, I said to him and went to see her.

“I’ve got a guy you should meet”, I told Finuzza the Job Developer. He’s here and I think he’d be good for that job. Can you meet with him?” So Finuzza met with him right away interrupting her work, told him of the job and sent him back out with the details to put together his resume and send it out – and he did just that.

Yesterday I was told by Finuzza that not only did he apply, but he had an interview and was hired on the spot. Oh yes, people do get hired in December this close to Christmas. So let me summarize the what had to happen to get a job in his case.

Finuzza: 1) Met an employer 2) shared an email advertising the job 3) met a client unscheduled interrupting her work 4) assessed him as I did as a good candidate 5) provided him the details 6) reported on his success to me.

My role: 1) Met him in a Career Exploration class and liked the impression he made 2) made a random decision to take a break and chance took me left instead of right 3) saw him and opted to initiate contact 4) was impressed he was job searching and that sparked my memory of the email Finuzza had sent 5) used my break to initiate contact with Finuzza and introduce him to her.

And him: 1) Took a Career Exploration class and made a good impression 2) came to job search independently showing further self-commitment 3) took advantage of an opportunity to look into a job 4) met with Finuzza unexpectedly and made another good impression 5) took the posting and the initiative to target and send his resume 6) went for an interview and made a 3rd good impression 7) accepted the job offer on the spot.

This guy put himself in a position to succeed by a series of good choices. When luck came along, he was prepared to seize the opportunity. We all played a part in his success but it all started with him and he deserves the bulk of the credit.

By the way, 1 of those people who took that Career Exploration class is now in my Computer class – continuing to make a good impression as she commits to her future success.