TheUnemploymentDojo's Blog

Advice for Job Seekers…..Answers from a LinkedIn Question/s….

Posted on: October 20, 2010

This is an extremely long blog post but i wrote it in reply to questions asked on Linkedin by Todd Herschberg. Please participate and any comments views suggestions are welcomed! Please don’t forget to Retweet if you like what you read!

Overcoming The Unemployment Crisis

Key Questions

1.      Facing unemployment in today’s world is complex. Can you give us perspective from different points of view, say a college grad versus someone at mid-career, a woman or Veteran re-entering the workforce, or a degreed versus non-degreed job seeker?
The Unemployment crisis is affecting everyone at large! Though, different individuals have different driving emotions and are being affected differently by the same crisis! Below is a breakdown of how they feel and despite the generalization, the bell curve of emotions will fall amongst these individuals!

The College Grad

As a college grad the most important problem from his/her perspective is that they feel they have worked extremely hard and need to get a job paying them handsomely for what they to school for! They may look at others who are not practicing what they graduated from college for as education wasters! There is a lot of naivety with them and they are in denial of how the real world works!

The mid-career woman/Veteran

A laid off mid career woman or veteran who has been laid off is more than anything else feeling the betrayal of having done everything that was expected of them only to have the rug pulled right under their feet! They are not very happy and not very trusting of anyone at this moment though they do feel the need to have some kind of income to survive and are more willing to do something they are not very passionate about to make ends meet!

Degreed Versus Non Degreed

It’s quite the classical ironic case because the non degreed feels like they need the degree now than ever before yet the degreed feels like they wasted their time pursuing a degree!

The Consensus!

Everyone is feeling the betrayal of governments, corporations and institutions of higher education for either contributing to the recession or not preparing them for this catastrophe called unemployment.

2.     What is unusual about our current economic situation that makes the job of getting a job completely different than in past decades?

More than anything else, this recession is different in terms of how it is affecting different people so tentatively, the job searching execution should be strategized differently! First off, business today is being conducted more and more like the old days…., at places of social interactions! Today, business and hiring is becoming more and more about who you know RATHER THAN what you know and the easiest place to grow your {Who you know} is at a social gathering as most people’s guards are slightly lowered and are more than willing to interact and engage! If you truly desire to have a job or a business (successful one at that!) don’t entirely concentrate on attending or networking at places of formal gatherings! Rather, use the formal meetings to network and then the informal places to build relationships! The latter is where things get done! Bars, spas, golf clubs, churches, weddings, parties etc……attend them more and do less of selling yourself but more of building relationships! Job hunting has absolutely become a psychological endeavor today more than anything else!

3.     Other than the economy, what is the number one barrier that prevents people from gainful employment?

Resilience! Lately, more people have been discouraged from even getting out of bed from all the focus on the news, newspapers, forums etc about the recession! The problem being many people put too much emphasis on what they don’t have or want than what they desire to have or have already! This kills their soul little by little until the self confidence is mashed away!

Resilience is the absolute necessity to achieving! When your friends and family abandon you, when the job interviewer doesn’t get back to you, when the guy you met at the store promised he was going to hire you and never did, resilience is what puts everything behind and still finds some incredible strength to still pursue employment!

4.     What does one do if they have been historically employed in an industry that is showing no signs of growth or is in fact diminishing altogether?

Start the change within yourself! Become more and more pro-active! One of the biggest mistakes I have seen people indulge in is chasing the next big career! Nursing and health is good and will probably be nice for a couple of years but what happens when the market becomes saturated with health professionals? Everyone and their girlfriends are chasing the health career right now but what happens 5, 10 years from now! I say first off you have to be passionate about what you do and you absolutely have to enjoy it! When you do that job or that assignment with passion and love, you perfect it; you find new ways of saving time and money ….you become the expert! Mark you, the expert is always the one that gets paid or the one everyone seeks because most people believe that the expert solves problems and most people have no problem paying for a solution if their problems get fixed!

5.     What are the first steps you recommend for a job seeker to prevent feeling overwhelmed?

Don’t get frustrated! You don’t get a job by engaging in an activity in one day but rather by doing it day by day! This is the best advice that I can give! Do something every day that contributes to finding your dream job and keep a mental picture of how it will feel when you get that job! You may have to do something you are not very passionate about for now, but that won’t last too long! Think of how will you feel? What you will be able to do? Where will you go? Keep all these scenarios in proximity because these mental imprints are what will keep you from feeling discouraged and worse, demoralized! Here is the blueprint that I would recommend you follow:-

  • Get a linked in profile
  • Build A Blog and let people know you are in the market
  • Show proof what you are capable of doing….if its art show your art if it’s nursing write about trends in nursing or have a journal.
  • Attend as many social functions as possible…you not only have a good time, but you get to network and keep your mind away from being negative!
  • Keep in touch with your old contacts….university professors, teachers, community members, church elders!
  • Volunteer(a must)
  • Exercise everyday! You burn endorphins and keep your mind thinking positive!

6.     What are some of the key pitfalls job seekers face when looking for a new position?

They use the same process that millions of other job seekers are using! They all send resumes, they all send cover letters and few do follow ups! Want to get to at least the interview Stage? Be different! Here is a tactic that I would recommend you use and I almost guarantee will work wonders! Do research on the company for the position they are advertising! Find problems they are experiencing, talk to people who work there, call employees, search the web for solutions, search the web for similar problems other companies are facing, become creative and then compile a report! Now you have leveraged over all the 96 thousand other applicants! Call and demand a meeting with the person in charge and ask for an informal coffee date! Tell them about the research you have been doing and present your findings….don’t mention anything about the job! I promise you within weeks, you will either:-

  • Get the job
  • Get hired as a contractor/consultant
  • Get referred to someone who will hire you.

7.     Many unemployed workers start to focus on their passion and look to turn hobbies or dreams into entrepreneurial companies. At what point in the unemployment process do you recommend people begin to look at this as the best or worst option?

When they have the mentality to live with the fact that the business they will pursue might fail but the attempt and lesson to be learned will be way more exciting than the results! It is the only time that makes sense to pursue a business whether in a recession or not! The unfortunate reality is that when our emotions get too entangled in the process we behave irrationally rather than systematically and logically! Are there emotional businesses that have become successful? Absolutely! But (never start a sentence with but!) they stirred the emotions of their prospects! Your turmoil or unemployment catastrophe will not spark sympathy from your buyers! They are experiencing the exact same thing too so rather start a business that caters to their needs and frustrations and provides more value to them than to you! Our clients and customers and prospects can sense desperation through your acts! They can sense get money quick businesses versus value offered business! Don’t get caught up in that dilemma! Extended who you are through your business, that way nothing you ever do is questionable because it resonates with the real you! The Brand! Something that will create an impact in their lives and this, this comes from testing!

8.      What is your most memorable story or experience of a job seeker overcoming obstacles and realizing successful employment?

When a close personal friend of mine who had lost all hope and was starting to get depressed after two years of unemployment finally landed a job within a month of following the advice I gave her! She was ecstatically frantic about the entire ordeal and still thanks me till today!

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Lee Kariuki
1-888-MY-ETHER ext. 04466282

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