Sunday, September 18, 2011

Landing That ‘Perfect’ Job Is Not Easy

It is difficult to find fault in business magnate, Warren Buffett’s, advice that when you,  “Find your
passion and the money will follow.  After all, who can argue with the 3rd wealthiest person in the world (2011).  Even as a child, Buffett displayed an interest in making and saving money. At the age of 11 he developed an interest in the stock market and even bought shares with the money he earned from selling chewing gum, Coca Cola and weekly magazines door-to-door. Buffett also worked in his grandfather's grocery store. In high school, Buffett made money by money by delivering newspapers, selling golf balls, stamps, and detailing cars.  By the time he finished college, Buffett had accumulated more than $90,000 in savings (as measured in 2009 dollars.)  Buffett had a passion and that passion was making money.

If you are currently unemployed and desperate to find a job, you need to know that there are jobs out there.  They may not however, be the job you want or think you should have. Finding that ‘right’ job takes work and at some point you will have to come to the realization that you can have that ‘perfect’ job, but just not yet.  Once your unemployment benefits run out and the bills begin to stack up, it is time to reassess and revise your plans for your future.  You will need to “Play the cards you have, not the cards you wish you had.”

Step One: Get a résumé. 

If you can’t afford to have one written by a professional, use one of the many templates that are available on the Internet.  It may not be perfect, but it is a start.  At the very minimum, make sure that your résumé is neat, and puts you in the best possible light. Explain times that you were not working by detailing any volunteer work or education you were getting during these periods. Also take the time to have someone else look over the document and check it for neatness, completeness, and accuracy.

Step Two: Find a Job

The modern way to look for a job is to check a few websites like Monster or CareerBuilder for jobs which you think you would be willing and able to do.  Don’t forget to follow their contact instructions. That said, you ought to know that this is probably going to be your LEAST successful way of getting a job quickly. 

Step Three: Post your résumé EVERYWHERE

There IS a hidden job market out there and until you can ‘network’ your way to your perfect job, post your résumé on all the job boards you can find and make sure it is searchable by prospective employers.  N.B.  Be careful of the information you choose to share.  Sway away from your exact address and list only the city and province/state in which you live.  Also don’t forget to include ONE contact number and be sure to have a ‘professional sounding’ voice and message on your answering machine.

Step Four:  Check job boards on a regular basis.

Know that you are currently living in a buyer’s market when it comes to finding employees and the companies are the buyers.  Also, know that there is a lot of talent out there and the majority of opportunities are advertised for 3 days or less.

Step Five: Pound the pavement

Make a list of the companies where you think you would like to work and check out their career section.  Know that the majority of companies will advertise opportunities on the company’s website BEFORE they make the opportunity known in a more public fashion.

Job Hunting Tips

It is tempting to spend your job hunting time simply sitting at home and e-mailing résumés. You can tell yourself how hard you are working to find a job, and how many hundreds of applications you have sent out. However, this is still an inefficient way to get a position. 

In addition to everything else you have done, you must take that list of companies that interests you, and find out where each company, manufacturer, store or business is located and focus your time on certain companies that are of particular interest to you. One of the best ways to maintain that focus is to pay them a visit.  HINT:  Dress well and be well-groomed when you drop your résumé off at the HR department and/or the receptionist.  The receptionist is a real person who has seen you, and will report your mannerisms and attitude to the person who reads your résumé. In fact, it is especially important to be polite to the receptionist. People will notice!

If and/or when you are given an opportunity to complete a job application, follow the instructions exactly! If they tell you to fill out an on-line application, do so. If they send you to an office to speak with a particular person, be polite and courteous, even if they tell you they don't have anything available at the moment. If they like you and are impressed with your attitude, friendliness and behaviour, they will remember you when something does become available! If they ask you to leave the résumé with the receptionist, do as they ask.!

Regardless of your educational background, if you are offered a job, even if it is not the one you want, take it.  Take it even if it is a temporary position. It may not be the job you hoped to find.  It may not be a full-time position and it may not pay as much as you hoped. You should still take it. It is far easier for working people to get better jobs than it is for the long-term unemployed. An employment contract is not a marriage contract.  It is not unusual for someone new to the company to experience a honeymoon period.  This honeymoon period usually lasts about 3 months.  During this honeymoon stage, you will begin to get a feel for the entire company.  You will begin to understand how you fit with the company and how the company fits you.  You may even find that there are opportunities open to you now that you are a valuable employee and that you will have access and be able to become knowledgeable about internal opportunities for advancement before the general public.  You can also consider that if and when something better comes along, you can always make the decision to stay with your current employer, or not when you are offered another job with another company.  More importantly, you will be able to make this decision from a place of calm and logic and not desperation and that piece of mind is worth far more than money.

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at