I see it every day where I work; people standing in front of a board covered with job postings or browsing a job search website. Many of these apply for a job or two and then come back the next day to repeat the process and I must say with very few results. Sometimes of course they get interviews and a few even manage to land the jobs they applied to. Somehow or other though, the job doesn’t work out for both the person and the company who hired them.
Does this sound like your own experience? So what’s going wrong? Isn’t this how everyone looks for work today?
The most successful people; and by successful I mean the ones who find work they enjoy, can perform well at and who manage to maintain those jobs don’t go about looking for jobs as described above. They’ve taken the time to do a number of things that maximize their odds of getting hired faster and in jobs that fit better with their own needs. So here I’ve listed some things to at least consider doing to help you out; some you may be doing already and some which will require a change in your thinking and actions; that is if you’re open to trying.
- Apply to jobs you’re actually qualified for based on the employer’s stated requirements. You’ll stop wasting your precious time – and theirs – going through the application process. You only have so much time and energy.
- Research the salary and know ahead of an interview what you’re worth on the market and the amount of money you require in order to live within your means. Again, you’ll avoid a lot of grief applying, interviewing for and accepting employment only to quit when you get your first pay cheque if it’s substantially less than your bare minimum requirements.
- Whether you’ve had a poor experience with a boss in a previous job or you’ve been fortunate enough to work for great ones, ask questions about the style of supervision you’d receive with the organization. Clues can be usually found if you read web pages where they mention company culture, what you can expect or promotional opportunities.
- Get on a computer and figure out the distance you’d have to travel to and from your home to the job location and back home again. How much time will this add to your work day? If you use transit, how many transfers are involved? If you drive factor in any parking expenses to your budget.
- Think about how long you might invest with your next employer. You might only wish to work for a couple of years until you retire, and therefore a contract job might be an ideal fit. Younger? Perhaps you’re really looking for a variety of experiences in order to figure out what you’d like to do on a longer term basis and so again a short-term position might give you that experience to add to your growing resume.
- Most jobs involve some level of customer service and interaction with people. A growing number of people who are looking for work seem to have weak interpersonal skills, anxiety and wish to avoid jobs were conversations and frequent contact with other people occur often. If this is you, it appears you either have to increase your level of confidence and develop in this area like any other skill, or seek out jobs where people interaction is at a minimum in the first place.
- The first few days, weeks and months on a job are critical evaluation periods where you’re ability to learn the job and perform it in the way that fits with the employers preferences are being examined. While some employer’s have extensive training programs and support built for new hires, others expect you to learn on the job and be up to speed quickly. Know the employer’s expectations.
- Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills are highly sought after skills because quite frankly you’ll experience dilemmas and challenges be they with co-workers, supervisors, customers, clients, the public, couriers, tradespeople etc. Can you articulate or describe your own style of dealing with these kind of challenges in such a way that you solve problems but at the same time preserve relationships with the very people you find challenging?
- Do yourself a huge favour and make a resume for each and every job you apply to rather than making multiple copies of resumes and handing them out. Although I and others have said this numerous times before, people aren’t getting the message and that’s a shame.
- Considering the work you’ll be doing, will you find it personally meaningful and one way or the other how much of a factor is this to you? Presumably you’re spending up to 12 hours a day (some shift work positions) so think carefully.
Look, there’s a lot of things to consider if you really want your next job to be satisfying and if you want to be successful in both getting it and keeping it. The 10 things I’ve listed here is hardly a comprehensive list, but maybe 10 things is a more effective read than say a 10,000 word blog on the 157 factors you should consider; that would be entirely too overwhelming for anyone and pointless!
Bottom line readers; the more you educate yourself the better you’ll be suited to the job you’re after all around.