FIVE THINGS I WISH I KNEW IN MY JOB SEARCH: THE GUIDE TO SLAYING THE BEAST
So, you’re after the Job-berwock again.
The mighty, elusive beast is out there, waiting for your magnificent vorpal sword of an application. Fear not, warrior. I will not let you go into battle empty handed. But before you go into battle, you must know yourself and what, exactly, tools you are bringing to this fight.
Behold! I bequeath to you…
The Five Sacred Principals of the Job Hunt
1) Keep your sword sharp, shiny, and relevant.
a. Your resume is a marketing document. Highlight the marketable parts. Everything else is fodder for cover letters and interviews.
b. For more information on resumes as marketing documents, you can do no better than AskAManager.com.
2) Know the object of your quest.
a. What you want is important. What you need is more important. What you DON’T want is most important.
b. Write all of these down in list form and hold yourself to them.
c. This includes physical environment! For more on your ideal workspace, see my posts about liminal space.
3) What good is your kill if you don’t get a hefty reward from the king? In lieu of lands or titles, pick your number and don’t settle for any less than within $3k.
a. Taking less than you’re worth will make you feel terrible about this job forever. Don’t do it.
b. Why would you give up extra latte/movie ticket/credit card payment money?
c. I guarantee that someone has made more than you at this job. You are not doing the company a disservice – this MUST be a mutually beneficial business arrangement.
4) Like slaying dragons, jabberwocks, or minotaurs, job hunting takes regular practice. You might get one on your first try, but everyone will be pretty surprised if you do.
a. Practice writing cover letters by inviting people to lunch or for an informal chat. Practice writing resumes by updating every six months. Practice talking to people all the dang time. Practice, practice, practice.
b. If you treat it all as practice, you won’t take it personally.
c. You will never be sorry you practiced these skills.
5) Keep more than one option in your arsenal. Apply for that awesome looking job. Now, immediately assume you didn’t get it, and apply for the next awesome looking job.
a. This will enable you to get through the waiting period and keep up your momentum.
b. Pssssst – that doesn’t mean you didn’t get it. It just makes space for a surprise happy ending.