Someone I know told me she had been looking a long time and said, I need a job ASAP! I thought I would share my reply so others could benefit.
Well, before we talk about what you should do, we need to diffuse a bomb before it goes off. You will need to deal with the desperate state overflowing from your veins. It will scare everyone you approach. No one likes to talk to an irrational person. When you say, “desperate,” that is what people think. Your reality is you are in a difficult situation where time is of the essence.
The phrase, “I need a job ASAP” is scary. Think before putting it out there.
Companies will not give jobs or even listen to a desperate person. It frightens them and rightfully should. It’s likely you’re overwhelmed but now is the time to overcome it with rationalization. This is a good time to start doing several things to help you focus and conduct a search to achieve quicker results. Unfortunately, most employers are not rushing to hire people.
Write down and carefully consider the following:
Are you clear on the job you want and the company you want to work for? That is the first major obstacle for most job seekers.
Is there a skill you can leverage as an independent contractor?
Is there a job opportunity you passed on applying to because it didn’t seem right? Depending on what “right” is, it may deserve a second look.
Are you signed up with temporary agencies? You should sign up with several. Most pay weekly once you start. Although they will still put you through their hiring process, it is a short term fix.
Do you know any friends who are business owners who can use your skill set?
Have you told most (or all) of your friends and family of your unemployment status? As funny as it seems, people will tell strangers before family. I understand why. If you’re running out of time, then this might be the best rational option.
If you haven’t already, you should be having conversations with people you know who might be in position to refer you or hire you at least temporarily. The caution again is people will bail at the sign of desperation. You can communicate urgency without seemingly irrational.
Consider dressing business casual wherever you go. This will likely disarm those who don’t usually help anyone. It’s not comfortable during the summer months, but human nature says people are likely to trust someone who looks ready to work. Casual business is much more pleasant than always dress for the interview. The worse is looking like you just got out of bed and saying, I need a job ASAP. The latter is repulsive at best.
Do the basics
- Here are some quick suggestions but for more detail, you can find articles all over the web for help. I’ll include a few references
- Continue to fill out applications on job boards
- If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to complete one. If you’ve completed one, now it’s time to participate in conversations taking place in groups
- Contact companies directly. There are many articles on the web to help you strategize and execute.
- Set up informational interviews if you’re no longer anxious and desperate. Go for the information not to beg.
- Ask for introductions to people in the companies you like to work for. Offer them value and likely, they will offer it back
- Create opportunities for great conversations everywhere you go without asking for referrals. Relationships get you referred, not solely the ask itself.
- Look for internship opportunities
- Look for volunteer opportunities to help you hone untested skills and abilities
- Are you a member of professional organizations? If not, are there any you can contact to see if they have any special discounted membership prices? If you’re a recent college graduate, many will give a very low discount for the first year.
- Check locally for businesses looking for someone with your skill set. It’s possible they have not posted a position, but willing to hire the right person with a unique skill.
These are a few things you can do. If you have additional questions, let me know.
College students and their parents, with some exceptions, do not talk about long-range career plans. Job gaps after long periods of unemployment are frequent problems of re-engaging job seekers who take off of their career paths after 3 years or more. If either of these career-defining issues are yours, this is a must listen to episode.
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Bill Holland Bill Holland, Ph.D. is the author of The Path from Backpack to Briefcase: A Parent’s Guide. He discusses in detail how parents should be more involved than ever in the shaping of their sons and/or daughters career defining choices. He is a college professor and his advice has been featured USA Today and NPR. He was an executive with Right Management, responsible for sales territory worth 250 million dollars.
Here are some highlights from our discussion:
- We discussed the chasm and differences between the student, parents, and career services. Although the cost of education skyrockets, parents are in the best position to close the gap.
- Parents don’t need to step back and let go when their college student goes off to school, but need to be involved, especially when it comes to the student branding themselves. The key to guidance is being a good listener is a key to being a parent and helping your son or daughter college student position themselves for the future.
- We talk about the value of a degree has changed over the years, and whether it has appreciated or depreciated over the years. He states the central discuss is thinking how his or her degree can pay off.
- Bill also makes the point that the college degree of yesterday has changed dramatically, and more competitive than ever since the job market is more globalized due to technology. How to create value is key for the college student to compete in a global job market.
- Treating college as a four-year job search is also a key factor for success, and understanding what profile employers that come to campus are looking for.
Mark Babbit introduced Lisa Rangel to me after he suggested her as a guest. She is the founder and Managing Partner of Chameleon Resumes. Most notable honor her blog has received was the Forbes top 100 website for your Career. She is also a 10-time Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), former 13-year recruiter, and LinkedIn Job Search Expert. Lisa and I discuss how to handle the job gaps whether they have been out of work 3-10 years.
Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:
- Job seekers basically don’t know how to answer job gap questions, and we discuss how do we extract the best out of volunteer work or jobs that require different skill sets.
- Employers want to see that no matter what the job seeker has been doing, what achievements shows his or her capabilities.
- Well rounded individuals is what employers are looking for and are looking for potential candidates to demonstrate it. It’s the attitude and that employers are attracted to, and the showing of resilience that should come through.
- We discuss how important a job seeker’s network is everything, and more important than the resume, keywords in a LinkedIn profile. The resume does not work on its own, and it is only one piece of the job marketing puzzle.
Like what you hear? Or do you think there is room for improvement? Tell me. Write an honest review on the show in iTunes or Stitcher. A new episode is published weekly on Wednesdays (there are gap weeks but very few), so no plans to disappoint.