What you personally bring to the job market is just as important as the tools in your toolbox, such as a well-worded CV or cover letter. It may even be more important.
Increasingly in discussions with jobseekers I find that getting that perfectly worded CV is seen as the holy grail for success with little attention paid to the attitudes and internal belief systems that they bring to bear on the market.
In approaching the job market the successful jobseeker has a choice to either be at the mercy of other parties including employers, recruitment agencies and rival jobseekers – what I call the pinball effect – or to choose exactly how and when they participate.
The pinball effect has its roots in an inaccurate belief system as to the likelihood of success in the job market and an attachment to outcomes. It is further fuelled by rejection – it can lead to a downward spiral and a diminishing chance of securing a job as time progresses.
The successful jobseeker knows this and is not bounced around emotionally by twists of fortune as a reaction to the decisions of others. Instead they are detached from outcomes, have a documented plan and are proactive in their approaches to potential employers and intermediaries. Not only does this protect them emotionally, it results in better returns as they quite literally stand out from the rest of the competition.
Observing others in the job market and asking the right questions is a great place to start, for example:
- What is everyone else doing?
- What could I do differently?
To help illustrate this point let’s look at the one stage of any recruitment process – the interview. Let’s consider how the successful jobseeker can choose to think and participate effectively.
Many jobseekers I speak to approach this stage with dread and in advance attempt to rote learn answers to standard questions. In the interview it’s one way traffic as they are bombarded by the interviewer’s questions as they frantically try to remember what they’ve memorised!
But let’s consider another approach – entering the interview with the clear messages you want to deliver and knowing the right questions (yes, that’s right, you can and should ask questions) to ask the interviewer to guide them in the right direction. With this approach there is freedom of thinking and the jobseeker is in full control.
Think about this too – with the first approach what if the interviewer is not experienced and doesn’t know how to ask the right questions to give you the best opportunity to demonstrate your skills? You could be the best candidate but never get to show it!
Thinking differently and taking a different approach in how you participate in the job market is essential.
It’s not about what others do, it’s about what you do that’s important. We have little control of the actions of others but we have total control of what we do and think ourselves!
Remember – don’t be a pinball and your efforts will be well rewarded.