Has Your Job Search Passed Its’ Expiry Date?

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Although the employment outlook is getting better, many great people remain on the sideline.  Some are getting increasingly frustrated as they see others get hired.

As a Co Founder of Laguna Niguel Connectors and a person that has spoken to numerous transition groups throughout Southern California I have heard many stories. I also see a lot of people making mistakes in their job search.

As a consultant who has to create a job for himself each and every day I can relate to the journey of the job hunt as I am perpetually unemployed.

So here are some thoughts.

First. Stop Making Sense.  This is the New Normal and many things don’t make sense.  Banks are more liquid than they have been in decades and yet don’t lend money to businesses.  Companies have more cash on hand then ever and don’t hire.  I ran into somebody last week who spent the majority of time during our interaction telling me why the company’s decision not to hire him was a mistake and didn’t make sense.  Waste of energy.

Don’t consume rejection. You have to be clinical not emotional about job search. Focusing on what you can’t control is counterproductive.  In the Old Normal, if you had four leads you usually could count on closing one deal.  In the New Normal, you need ten leads in your pipeline. It is the same with job hunting.  That is the reality.

If you have been in the job hunt for a long time it is time for a personal remodel.  You need to regain your edge. It is time for renewal.  Time to lose those ten pounds you have been talking about.  It’s time to get your haircut styled in a new way, start wearing hats, wear scarves, and try new colors. Do something different to change your appearance.  You need to look edgier and unique to create impressions. Time to go to Banana Republic and find somebody much younger than you and ask them to dress you. Do it.  If your kids think you are boring you are.

Reinvent yourself.  Eight of the ten things I do today I didn’t do ten years ago.  What new product offerings or skills do you have that you didn’t have five years ago? If the answer is none, you aren’t going to succeed in the New Normal.  The iPhone is five years ago.

Stop Wasting Your Time.  I see countless people in job hunting mode wasting their time.  Recently somebody connected with me because I was Linkedin with somebody at a company that was looking for an AE.  An AE is a person who has about five years experience in the advertising game.  This person had twenty years marketing experience and had not been an AE at an agency in 15 years. After all those years in the game that’s what they had learned about targeting?  Total waste of time.  Have a high probability strategy in your job hunt.

Don’t retreat.  Advance.  Many people start retrenching the longer they job search goes.  They stop going to networking events because they think they cost money.  Are you crazy? They become Marketers who are afraid to spend.  They retreat to hide behind their computers and chase job posts on job sites like millions of other people.  Don’t fall into that trap.  Get out more and show everyone your new look.

Disrupt your routine.  If you don’t stretch you don’t learn.

Mentor.  You have great skills to share.  There is no other measure of personal success than to contribute to the uplifting of our youth and they need some help these days.  A thriving Society is defined by how much it invests in its youth.  Mentoring today provides mutually beneficial social currency and it could lead to financial currency.

Hank Blank started his career in Canada working on McDonald’s at DDB.  Hank then worked at JWT in Toronto and Chicago where he worked for ten years.  JWT’s Chicago office opened in 1891 and closed a couple of years ago during the Great Recession.  Hank now works in the New Normal.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch a video on How to Create a Job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMSFqT9M_FQ

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11 thoughts on “Has Your Job Search Passed Its’ Expiry Date?

  1. Jeff Howell

    Solid advice, Hank! I would add that one important reinvention skill is public speaking and communication in general. Not sure if you have posted on the issue, but I have used the past year to improve through toastmasters and gained a ton of great new friends and skills as a result. Highly recommended!

  2. Hank: I am an executive recruiter with a successful blog. Your advice is excellent – so good I wish I had said it myself! I see all too many good people with lots of time in the business who tell me out of desperation that they would be happy to take a lower level job. I always explain that it doesn’t work; in fact, I cannot think of a single case where this strategy has paid off. Keeping an edge and reinventing one’s self is fabulous advice.

  3. Solid advice indeed. Another item to stress is the value of focus … think hard about what your real differentiators are and make sure to communicate those clearly; agree that going for a lower level job or just broadening the definition of what you’re looking for are not good strategies.
    The need to permanently re-invent oneself, especially for fast moving areas such as e.g. high-tech markting, is critical … as mentioned by Hank “what skills do you have that you didn’t have five years ago?”.

  4. Hank, great points – all brutally true. I’m sure I am guilty of many and have thought about the “why” behind them. No one (I think) goes out of their way to shoot themselves in the foot. What I do notice is that, in general, the longer someone has worked in one place, the more prone they are to some of these behaviors. They have lost the “edge” required to survive extended periods of “discomfort” where you are selling yourself, which a lot of us find intrinsically uncomfortable.

    But, as you say, this is the New Normal. So, short of retiring, and living on an island somewhere, we need to re-sharpen our tools.

  5. Great insight, obviously based on wisdom and experience. I like the advice to reinvent yourself–change, update, learn! But I also think that your last point is really important. Mentoring a young (or not-so-young) person will bring rewards and benefits far beyond paid employment. Helping, serving, working for someone else is a great way to make a lasting contribution to your sphere of influence.

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