A reader sent me a polite well-written e-mail basically telling me my recent career pro job search advice post was drivel, and she was sick and tired of hearing the same old advice again and again from job search experts and professionals. She explained in all sincerity that she has read countless career advice from countless experts and knows it even better than some of the so-called career pros (she actually teaches internet networking techniques)…and yet she is still unemployed.
To summarize her sentiments: Knows it. Does it. Lives it. Even teaches some of it. And yet…no job. And so understandably she’s had it up to here…no maybe up to HERE…with all the platitudes and assurances that following these job search tips will get her the golden ticket.
I totally get it.
There’s a great scene from an episode of Sex & the City where Carrie reluctantly accompanies her determined-to-find-her-soul-mate friend Charlotte to a lecture given by some “believe and it will come true” woman guru. The woman is telling the audience (of women) that to find your soul-mate you have to be out there believing it every moment and pretty much holding the image of all you want in your mind at all times. (For me this would interfere with my visualizations of world peace, curing cancer, ending poverty, and a brand new show by Stephen Sondheim that really works. But I do digress.)
Anyway, Charlotte – a true believer – raises her hand shyly and says she has been out there doing exactly what the love guru says and saying her affirmations daily, but she’s still alone. The guru, caught off guard by all this “negativity” (i.e. honesty), crisply informs Charlotte she hasn’t been doing it right after all. Charlotte looks hurt and tries to process. She tearfully says she thinks she has been doing it right. And just as the guru swoops in to once-and-for-all rationalize why her can’t-fail advice isn’t working for poor affirmation-challenged Charlotte (i.e. completely blaming Charlotte), the indomitable Carrie pipes up “Oh she’s been doing it all right. Believe me, she’s OUT there!”
And so I just want to take this moment to say that I think many of you are going through something a lot like that. And I know most of you are REALLY out there. And you’re trying your best. And if it doesn’t work the first or the second or even the tenth time, it doesn’t mean you’re not doing it right. (Although always good to see if there is anything you might be missing.)
But things like this just have their own time line – no matter what we wish or try to make happen. And please don’t let anyone try to take anything away from who you are, all you have to offer, and most of all your ability to make your job offer happen for yourself – with a little help from folks you enlist in your cause, of course.
That said…if things do get stuck or stale, it doesn’t hurt to shake things up for yourself. When job search efforts become routine, you lose your fire and may miss important clues to help uncover that job you’ve been working so hard to find. And let’s not minimize the effect of those cold embers which can detract from how you come across in job interviews.
So in addition to letting you know you are not alone in wondering why if you are doing things right nothing is happening for you…here are a few posts (not really advice, just thoughts 😉 ) to help you look at things from different angles and maybe even help you relight that fire!
Some job search articles I hope will help:
Oh…and in case you’re curious, the reader later added that although she indeed knows the job search basics, she is probably going to shake things up for herself by getting more creative in where she’s looking and whom she’s asking for help. I wish her all the luck. Even if you’re doing it ALL right…that’s energy and time well spent!
What about you? Have you had it up to HERE? What do you do for yourself to help relight the job search fire?
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.