If You Feel Like a Job-Search Failure...Go Underground!

by Taub, Rob Friday, September 25, 2009
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"I Feel Like a Failure at Job Search. I've done everything I know to do, from everything I've read about job searching and from all the advice from friends, my schools career office and online sites...it's been months and I've been to all the career fairs and applied to every opening I could find in 6 New England states, NY and NJ and I'm still jobless seemingly going nowhere."

HAVE you done everything...REALLY?

Aside from contacting your colleagues, job postings, and career fairs...what else have you done? Have you researched the market to see exactly where ELSE other than where you were last that you are marketable AND WHY you are? In other words, have you explored your "other" options (not like the local burger shop)? Consider also the various avenues or tools you are using; are you maximizing on that which is available to you? Do you honestly know all that is available to you to help uncover opportunities and decision-makers?

What AREN’T you doing?

You see, many people do all that think they CAN do, but you'd be surprised how much they may NOT be doing. For example, have you thought to review companies that have gone through recent mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures? These are all clues for where there may be a future opportunity or a hiring pattern unfolding. Consider that there's usually a 3 to 5 month window after a merger...after systems and people have been integrated; duplication has been eliminated and now the organization is preparing to re-emerge. THAT's when you have to make contact, not after the "help wanted" sign goes up and EVERYBODY knows. By getting in early and demonstrating your "brand" - you know...your unique value-mix (skills, characteristics, competencies, experience, core values, education et al) - you are in a unique position to present yourself and a personalized solution to some of their needs going forward. I call it "going underground"

“Go underground” with your search

There are many examples of these "spot opportunities" and many avenues for uncovering them: Emergence of new markets; product introductions; leadership vacuums; Board-level changes; IPO's LBO's, relocations and expansions and many more. If you catch wind on a company relocating from a major metro area to say, Central PA, it's likely many of the folks won't sell their homes in this market at a loss and relocate with the company, so there are going to be new opportunities. Rather than waiting for the relo to take place and then have to compete with the new locals, get in there now - again, ahead of the crowd. Most people are doing all they can do with all that they know, but do they know it all...really? Go Underground! That's where more of the opportunities are.

Simply stated, if I had to go to court for something serious, I would probably NOT go to law school first, nor even bone upon a lot of Law - I'd get a lawyer; wouldn't you? (I also wouldn't drill my own teeth; ok...that's a little silly, I know). I don't mean to be harsh, but most job searchers don't know a heck of a lot about the art and science of job searching, and rarely do they get underground. But there are those that do. And there is no lack of opportunity for them. Go underground!

There’s a lot at risk – but you don’t have to ‘go it’ alone

Like a serious legal issue or a simple tooth ache, the result can be profound. It’s the same with your career search. The result will affect everything in your life, the quality of your life and that of your loved ones. In fact, it will affect anyone who gives a hoot about you, right? That is Profound. Your emotional health too is affected. Your self-esteem either gets a booster-shot that helps or takes a big hit and waning confidence results. There is a lot of free advice, here and everywhere else, but there are always some people who need extra help pulling it all together. Could you be one? Think about it and perhaps for this go' round, you can get some help...and go underground!

Hope this helps!