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The Chicken or the Egg
by Michael Mayher


When it comes to helping oneself find job opportunities, most of us have been conditioned to believe the internet is the answer for everything. We’re led to believe that without online efforts, we have no hope of finding a good job when, in fact, this is a silly assumption. At the same time, more and more people are realizing their best efforts online are not getting them very far, which leaves them more frustrated than ever.


Are you aware that many jobs are not even posted online? And there are many more than you think. If you resort solely to online job search activities this is not what you want to hear – I’m not writing this blog to pacify anyone but, instead, I am writing to get people off their butts and to rediscover their own capabilities and how to help themselves.

For many reasons, managers might have job positions they would like to fill but, for some reason they haven’t, although lack of time and workload are the two primary reasons. So do they post a job or do they wait until the right person comes along, which makes it a chicken or egg proposition. If the right person walks through the door, literally or figuratively, they will often act upon it. So, why can’t you be that person? I’ll tell you why, because you’ve been conditioned to think all you’re permitted to do is dutifully watch the computer monitor and react only when you see something, and then do only what you are instructed to do. Pavlov’s dog comes to mind. In the minds of many, the internet is all there is – and many processes have been trending more and more automated, so that even if you apply online, there are increasingly more hoops for you to jump through just to be able to send your resume. Sorry, but I find it easier to determine who is the hiring manager and then contact them directly.

Conversations with the actual hiring managers differ from those with human resource staffers who may not even be aware of some of these un-posted jobs because they have their hands full with other things. Or, human resources may be aware but it might not be a priority at the moment because, as I stated, they are already juggling a lot, which is a reason they have no time to speak with you.

No doubt online activity and checking job listings is something everyone searching for a job should do. But if that constitutes the primary focus of your job opportunity search efforts, I am not surprised you’re not getting much return for your efforts – and neither should you be surprised, because you’re not doing anything – not really. I tire of saying it but you’d better learn to do more in order to help yourself.

Start small; you don’t have to do anything radical. Construct a plan A, B and C list of companies that, if you knew they were looking for someone, you would want to know about it. By the way, I hope you’ve already done this for your online search efforts. Next, spend some time using the internet for that which it is really good -- research. Exploit company websites, learn to use LinkedIn or Google search to identify the managers for whom you might work, at the companies where you have interest. Find the ways to establish contact via email or their company switchboard, call their admin assistant. At this moment, I’ll side-track to emphasize that if / when you have the hiring manager on the other end, I hope you have something worthy of their attention. For more about this, search my blog archives from April 2013 when I wrote a few consecutive entries about constructing your own personal F.A.B. presentation, so that when it comes time and you have your moment you say something worthy of their time and attention. Or better yet, you’d be well served to get my handbook.

Now where were we…I know what many readers are thinking, “But that’s hard Michael, it’s a lot of effort.” Yeah it is, but if you think you can send a few resumes and invest nothing more of yourself to get a good job, well then, you just don’t get it. Who told you a good job is easy to find? Maybe you are one of those who think your dream job is just a lucky mouse click away, right? Hey look, if you think perusing the job boards and portals is good enough, then fine, keep on doing that. But if you are not satisfied or feel limited then you have to do more.

Here’s the most ironic part of all this; what I am describing above is the way we all used to find jobs, which shows just how far we’ve sunk, how much we’ve allowed ourselves to be debilitated by opting for the convenience of internet access for convenience, at the expense of our own self-sufficiency – in just one generation.


More articles by Michael Mayher:
The Confidence Deficit
Earn the Opportunity to Say No
Resume Usefulness
After the Interview
Getting an Invitation
Reference Checked Before the Interview
Networking Effectively
A Failure to Communicate
Increasing Your Chances
Why You Should Heed My Advice

To Those Still Asleep
The Way It Was/The Way It Is
Demonstrating Interest is Not Begging
Confidence is a Key Ingredient
Stop Relying on the Internet
Career Survival Skills: The First Interview
The Interview
Resolve to Make This Year, Your Year
Periodic Update of Your Resume



About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website.  

 
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