Sunday, May 24, 2009

You’re Gonna Need GPS! (Part 2)

Because our job-search journey probably involves many aspects that are unfamiliar to us, I am recommending we use that all-important travel device: GPS. And if you read the last entry (and why would you not?), you’ll know already that it’s not an actual electronic gizmo that will get us a job (Don’t we wish?), but it’s important elements we should consider incorporating into our employment expedition.

Patience is a virtue (and persistence is victory)

Those who live comfortably in a microwave-in-a-minute, I-want-it-now mentality will have some difficulties with job searching in this economy. (Unless they are one of those annoying people with some kind of fairy godmother who makes sure they get the first job they apply for! They are probably the same ones who sell their house in the first week.) But for us who live in the real world, it takes lots of time. It takes a willingness to work hard at getting work. And after a full day of NOT getting a job, it takes the diligence to get up the next day...and do it all again.

We will meticulously craft our resume, but when we find it’s not getting us noticed, we must be willing to tear it apart and put it back together again. We will search the job boards and research the companies posting jobs. We will contact old friends, former colleagues and hound our family for referrals and references. And tomorrow, we will do it all again.

I had a friend recently ask me about my tenacious attitude in job searching. He asked: “Isn’t finding a job a lot like finding a date? You are more likely to find one when you stop looking so hard.” Huh?

The obvious answer, of course, is NO. Both may be tied to my self-esteem and self-worth (In my case, one is tied to self-preservation, since my spouse frowns on me dating.), the results are very different. My creditors are not interested in who/if I’m dating, but they are adamant about getting paid. Finding a date just won’t meet that glaring financial need. (Not taking into account the possibility of a Sugar Daddy/Sugar Momma, that is.)

Life in the fast lane?

One final point. Even when you do manage to make some kind of contact with hiring companies (e.g., interviews), they might tell you they are in a hurry to make this decision. But that’s rarely the case. Or, their idea of “hurry” is different than mine. I’ve been in a couple of interviews where I was told, “We need to make a decision as soon as possible.” And like an anxious teenager waiting by the phone for that call, I finally figured out that “as soon as possible” is open to interpretation.

This would be a great place for me to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, since it’s probably the perfect illustration to highlight my point. Not to mention how it would dazzle you with my extensive knowledge of disciplines outside the general knowledge I received in college.

Alas, I’m a PR Professional, not a physicist. I’m not absolutely sure I understand relativity, much less could explain it. (And I’m reasonably sure my theories of Star Trek’s application of the space-time continuum would be out of place here.)

Let’s just say this: time seems to move at different speeds, depending on the person and/or the situation. I believe hiring managers want to move fast. They intend to move fast. The need is there for a new team member. But let’s face it, they are short-handed, hence the need to hire someone. (Wish I were there to help them. LOL!) So, we learn to wait. And while we wait, we continue our search.

During the search, when I’m are told they will get back to me shortly, I now compare it to the timeline given by contractors: no matter how long they say it will take, it usually takes longer. That’s why patience is essential.

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