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Job Seeker: 10 Things I Know About YouPosted by Tim Tyrell-Smith
If you are currently looking for work or have been in transition before, I know a few things about you. You are part of a vital crowd that has been through something difficult to get somewhere important and necessary. And you are better for having been through it.
You see this process of job search changes you for the better. It pushes you to learn at a time in life when you may not actually want to do so. But you have to learn. Because you have been thrust into a situation that demands it.
And even if you and I did not go through job search together. If we did it at another time or in another city or country. I know a few things about you.
Of course I've had other experiences. Ones that have changed me in a different way. In college I decided to join a fraternity. An experience that pushed me to new places. Now if you've not been through the fraternity (or sorority) experience, you might wonder what "college socializing" has to do with job search.
Well, my fraternity experience included all the things you might expect. And a few things you might not. It included gaining leadership skills, organization skills, presentation skills and, of course, networking. And, similar to job search, I know a great deal about a fellow fraternity brother. Even before we are introduced.
Because the experience of pledging, being indoctrinated and initiated is consistent in each of my fraternity's houses in the U.S. And this is probably true for those who have been in the military or any other similarly organized group.
So if you are in transition, you and I know each other already.
I know that you:
- Have a significantly stronger and more relevant network.
- Have a stronger appreciation for money.
- Are more open to networking once employed.
- Are closer with family.
- Chewed (at least on the edge of) a little humble pie.
- Got a few things done around the house.
- Learned some new presentation skills.
- Struggled as to where to focus your attention some days.
- Learned about all the great resources out there for job seekers.
- Became a better person.
Your LinkedIn connections went from 95 to 250 (or higher). You stopped saying that Facebook is for kids and at least can say that you gave Twitter a try. You met people during the job search who will arrive at new jobs and are now part of your long-term network. You got to know a few recruiters who you can now help and support. Return a favor. All those former strangers.
Let's face it. Even the prospect of spending savings to pay the mortgage is stressful. Whether you actually did it is not the point. Some dug deep and now have a budget they live by - even when times are good. Others got close but felt the warmth of the fire.
You now have an appreciation for how hard it is to get a response from the employed. Recruiters, hiring managers, HR people. All can be difficult to reach. You, however, know what it feels like to be on the other side. And you will now be better at responding to those who need a way to network into your company. Right?
Whether you planned it or not. Even if it wasn't your idea. You were physically there and available for your family. You were able to help out your spouse a bit. Spend new time with your kids. Perhaps take a spontaneous trip to see your parents. And hopefully you relished that chance. As potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to be there.
Going from employed to being transition can hit the pride a bit. Needing to ask others for help when you have always been independent. The reliable one. But once you get past the pride thing, you found that it was actually OK to ask for and accept help from others. Because people like to give it.
If I walked in your house in the days since your transition, I will likely find that you found a few other ways to stay busy during your search. You have new baseboards in your kitchen. You built a new storage system in the garage. You did something with all your family movies and photos. Your yard looks manicured.
Not only did you figure out how to present yourself in a strong and compelling way, but you did it focusing on a person that can be hard to figure out. You. Selling yourself is not easy to do. But you figured it out and now can sell the best aspects of "you" at the drop of a hat. Should that ever happen.
I know there were days for you that did not feel very productive. Days that often felt wasteful. Days when nothing happened. And so you learned to focus. You built a plan along with a set of weekly goals to keep yourself on track. Leaving the impulsive life behind you. And avoiding lost time on the job boards. When you should have been networking.
You got to know a few local recruiters. You learned about the local networking groups (both formal and informal). You read job search blogs and articles. And hopefully, when your search ended, you summarized your key learnings and shared that summary with others.
Sound sappy? Tough. You did become a better person. You learned new things. You found ways to help other people. You learned to live on a budget and appreciate the small things in life. You allowed yourself to open up to new experiences.
BUT. If you are reading this and have never been out of work. If you have never changed jobs. Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with you. Not really.
But forgive me if I don't know you very well.
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