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3 Factors for a Successful or Failed Job Search


9/5/2012 1:06:39 PM

3 Factors for a Successful or Failed Job Search 3 Things That Lead to Success or Failure in the Job Search
By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

During one play in my son’s latest soccer games, he had the opportunity to pound a goal into the net; but one of his teammates beat him to the loose ball and netted the goal. Losing the opportunity was not as heart wrenching for me as it was for “Motor”—as his coach calls him.

When Motor gets down about not scoring his requisite goals, my response is to tell him, “The goals will come.” I still believe this because he’s been a prolific scorer in the past; he has a nose for the net. But as the season nears the end, it’s become increasingly clear that scoring more goals is diminishing with each game.

There are a number of factors standing in his way. First, he’s playing amongst a group of more experienced players who understand the nuances of scoring at this level. Second, he’s not hungry enough for the ball. Third, opportunities like the one I described haven’t presented themselves as much as he’d like.

Motor’s missed opportunity is similar to the job search for the three reasons listed above.

1. It’s rough out there. Like the nature of competition in youth soccer, the competition for jobs is fierce and the playing field is uneven and favors some more than others. Jobseekers need to realize this for a number of reasons. They need to understand that extra effort and ingenuity are necessary to land an interview and then a job. Many jobseekers who aren’t qualified for the jobs they land are succeeding due to their ability to perform well at an interview. The solution to this conundrum is to even the playing field by preparing for interviews and come across as polished. Then you–the qualified applicant will get the job.

2. Ya gotta be hungry, really hungry. Motor sometimes goes through the motions when playing on the field. Some jobseekers do the same. They tell me that they’ve spent a full-day’s work of the job search looking on line at job boards like Monster, Dice, Simply Hired, Indeed, etc.—and are satisfied with their job search activity. Activities like networking and sending tailored résumés and cover letters to employers take effort that will eventually lead to earning an interview. I see the look of hunger in some of my jobseekers’ eyes–it’s unmistakable and leads me to believe they won’t be out of work long.

3. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way. Even when the job search is done properly, you’re not guaranteed a job, let alone an interview. There are variables that stand in your way. When I tell my son that goals will happen when they happen, I mean that he can’t give up. Giving up will ensure that he never scores. I also believe that when the time is right, jobseekers will start getting more interview opportunities than they can handle. Continuing to work hard will lead to success; giving up all hope will ensure failure.

Next year is a new year for Motor. He will be a year older and a year stronger. He’ll not dwell on a prior year of hard work with no gratification. Next year he will play his feisty, hard-nosed style of play and the goals will come, and come, and come.

Read more biotech career tips. Find more biotech and pharma jobs by visiting the career center.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

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