Tim tells me why he has to leave his current company every couple of months. Then he says he has to stay. Leadership is lacking. The work ethic stinks. His office only stays alive because it is propped up by corporate headquarters. He and his boss both know what is wrong. Tim can’t fix it and the boss won’t fix it.
Tim does have a good reason to stay. He had five jobs in four years before he took this job. He wants to make it to the two or even three year mark here to clear up his resume. If the office lasts that long without being closed, he will stay.
More important than collecting years of service, he is collecting accomplishments. Tim can prove he produces 2/3 of the output at his office of 6 people. He has proof that his occasional training of coworkers has had a deep impact. Tim has numbers. Tim has projects and accomplishments. Those numbers look even better because of his unproductive coworkers.
This is not a race away from his old job. Tim is slowly rowing away from the rocks in his career. He may need a new job tomorrow or in two years. There is no telling how long corporate will suffer losses cheerfully. So he is preparing to leave.
If you are in a dead end job, use it as a lifeboat to your next job. Be the most important person in your office. Keep track of exactly how good you are. Slowly row away from the rocks in your lifeboat job.
Something to do today
Whether you plan on it or not, your current job is the boat you are in until your next job. Collect accomplishments, projects and cheerful statistics.
Write those accomplishments in your job journal. Give a list of them to your manager. That is the only way to be sure he notices what you do.
In a murder mystery on TV show the culprit is never the obvious answer. It’s not the neighbor who hated them and their dog, and their kids and who had their blood on their clothes. it’s always an unassuming character from left field.
Job ads are like a murder mystery TV show. Job ads often have long lists of qualifications and most are going to be red herrings. Only a few of those are really going to be important. Remember, these ads are written by HR, not the hiring manager.
Job ads all seem to be long lists of skills you absolutely have to have in order to get a job. My experience is that job ads are more red herring than meat. When a company sends me a job ad and asks me to find a person for the job, I always have to talk with the person who wrote the ad. I ask,
“What are the absolute minimal qualifications for the job?”
“Which of these skills in the ad are the hardest to find?”
“What has kept you from hiring the people you have already talked to?”
“Is there a hidden qualifier that was left out of the ad?”
As you look at a job ad, ask these questions. You may even want to call up the HR (Human Resources) department and ask them the four questions.
If you know any of the answers, you can change your resume. Put your most important qualifications first in a group of bullet points. Mention them in the very first sentence of your cover letter. Make sure they come out in a phone call.
Most job ads are huge. The minimal qualifications and the most important skills are usually hidden in the middle of a school of red herring. Figure out what the most important need is, and point out in an unavoidable way that you qualify.
Something to do today
Have you ever called an HR department to find out the real qualifications for a job? Try it today. Use the 4 questions above.
Fingerprint locks are used by tons of people on a daily basis, whether on computers or phones. People use them more often than the number or word locks because of convenience. They even have fingerprint locks for doors, and eventually I can see new locks like these being used more often than the everyday lock and key. The world changes a lot around us, and with that there are new ideas and new ways of life.
Your job search should be like the world, always changing, always improving.
Every year thousands of people get great new jobs with massive pay raises because they have learned something new and exciting. I know average programmers who are earning $120,000 per year. They learned the latest technology and tools and have been riding the gravy train for 3 or 4 years. Accountants that can implement brand new systems are still worth their weight in gold.
Adding a fingerprint lock helps sell thousands of new electronics to geeks like me. New technology, techniques, and skills can sell CEO’s and managers on your value.
What can you learn today?
Something to do today
The greatest lunch topic you can talk about with your boss is, “What is the emerging world changing technology, technique or skill in our field?” Try it today.
Kids can be a practically irresistible force. I have 10 children. Usually I can resist them. Not always. Sometimes they have to admit defeat, but with kids they don’t admit defeat till they have exhausted every avenue towards success. Here’s how they win.
Be totally, irresistibly, and eternally committed to a world changing idea
Jump up and down with enthusiasm
“No” means not now
“Not now” means try again in 5 minutes
Laugh, smile and tickle your dad
Run around and get all the other kids excited out of their minds
Ask dad for help to figure out how to do it
Cry if dad is not listening
See if you can turn it into a school project
Ask mom to talk to dad about it
Bring a partially completed task to dad to be fixed
Change your plans and try again in an hour
A small explosion in the yard will get dad’s attention
Make it a game
Kids win because they are too excited to accept defeat. They are willing to try every possible way around an obstacle. When I am the obstacle and they are really really determined, they know they can win.
Is there a job you really really want? Why not job hunt like a kid?
Something to do today
Take a pen and paper and translate each of those 14 things into something you can use for job hunting or working for a promotion in real life.
A giant cockroach steals the hero’s gun and swallows it, So the hero taunts the cockroach until it eats him. A few minutes later the cockroach explodes and our hero is standing there holding the huge gun the monster ate a few minutes before. Men In Black was a lot of fun. In that case the only way to save the world was to survive in the stomach of a giant bug.
There has to be at least 5 great job hunting analogies there. Create your own, then read mine. I bet mine is different.
The giant bug wants nothing more than to get into its spaceship and get away. Of course the earth will be destroyed if it gets away, but that is not the bug’s problem. The two puny humans must do everything they can to keep it from leaving. They taunt it, harass it, insult it, and step on small earthly cockroaches (relatives and friends) to get it to delay its departure. They figure out what the bug can’t ignore and get it to come back and deal with them.
Hiring managers are like giant cockroaches. They just want to hide in their offices and get away from you. You are a waste of their time unless you tell them something that proves they need you. They would rather have their receptionist shred your resume than take the time to talk to you. Take three lessons from the way the Men In Black fought the giant bug:
You have to find the right words
You have to engage them in conversation
A relative or friend may be able to get them to talk to you
Over the next three articles I will show you how to do each of these things. The giant cockroach, the hiring manager, will give you all the hints you need. I’ll show you what those hints are.
Something to do today
What do you need to do to get a hiring manager to need to talk to you?
Google is one of the most outrageously priced stocks in the market today. They give away services that competitors charge an arm and a leg for, and they make a profit. Google is the best company in the world that is in the attention business. If you are looking for a job or a promotion, you are in the attention business too.
Google started out as a search engine. It was a simple catalog. Then the owners started selling simple ads, but in a different way. That difference changed the internet.
Go out and Google “jobs”. Everything you see on that first page is a response to your attention. There are a few ads at the top and to the right of your results. The results you see on the first page were also paid for by savvy marketers. Your interest and attention to “jobs” is a valuable commodity. Google is in the business of finding out what you will pay attention to, and serving it up with the least fuss and the most profitability. Google finds out what interests you and then shows you ads you really want to see. Their ads solve your problems.
Now the scary part. Can anyone find you? My query about “jobs” produced 5,320,000,000 hits this morning. Even Google is selective about the information they present to me. They sell more by presenting less information. That’s why there is a first page of Google.
Let’s cut down the competition. Google “biomechanical engineer” in quotes and you get 69,600 hits, and a lot of the ads disappear. Google your name inside quote marks. I got 18,800 hits on “Bryan Dilts” because I am a blogger and businessman. Can anyone find you? Google is expert at finding what interests me and presenting the most important information in the first page. People can find me, can they find you?.
This is why you are in the attention business. To get a job, you have to get a hiring manager’s attention. You have to be at the top of his employee search. There is a huge amount of competition for his attention. He has to stop and look at you as a person. He has to call you, bring you in for an interview, and introduce you to the team. Then he has to decide to stake his career on hiring you. He has to pay a lot of attention to you. Are you doing what is necessary to be at the top of his search?
The next few days are about getting the attention of people who will hire you. Google is going to play a big part in the discussion, so go out and have some fun with it.
Something to do today
Cut a paragraph or phrase out of your resume and Google it. Do the same with a job ad. Have some fun.
Do you need a job now? Then use the best job search plan ever created.
Come on! How could it possibly be the best EVER created? Because it was created for only one person. You.
I have seen it happen over and over.
One guy is out of work for less than a month, and he gets a job offer with a raise.
Find a job in 5 weeks – that is freedom
It takes 6 months to get a job for the guy who sat next to him. This poor guy was doing exactly the same job, got better performance ratings, and would get rehired first if the job was re-opened. To make things worse, the guy who took six months accepts a huge pay cut.
It isn’t fair, but it happens every day.
It isn’t luck. The guy who finds a job quickly did things differently. He may have instinctively done the few most critical steps within the first days of losing his job. He may also have mapped out a strategy and executed it. Either way, he got the critical steps executed. He got the job.
The critical steps most often screwed up by the guys who take 6 months to find a job.
For 22 years I’ve been watching people get jobs in days, or wait a year to find a job. The steps most often screwed up are:
The resume stunk, and he never found out.
He burned his best leads before he was prepared.
Monster became his momma.
HR (Human Resources Department) was his master.
He never expanded his network, but he talked to a zillion people.
Interviews never seemed to go right.
He waited for a phone call back.
He thought recruiters were his friends
Give me a call or research these topics on my blog.