Earlier this week, I’ve talked with a frustrated job seeker who had just learned that he finished second in two separate job searches. The interviews and anticipation clearly took their toll since he decided to put his job search on hold as he copes with perceived rejection.
My attempted pep talk get his head back into the game didn’t seem to have much impact, so perhaps he’ll benefit from the advice of career coach Ford R. Myers, author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” who says that now would be the worst time to dial down his search efforts.
Ford cites the following seven truths for landing the job you want and achieving career success, regardless of the job market.
Truth #1: The Most Qualified Candidate Does Not Necessarily Get the Job Offer. Many times, candidates with lesser qualifications get the job offers simply because they’ve prepared and presented themselves in a more compelling way. The offer usually goes to the individual who has done a better job of marketing himself or herself.
Truth #2: The Best Time to Work on Your Career is When Your Job is Secure. Even if you are happily employed today, you never know what will happen tomorrow. By practicing “Perpetual Career Management” – keeping your resume current, networking, updating your success stories, staying active in associations, etc. – you will always be ready should a career disaster strike.
Truth #3: Graduating from School is the Beginning of Your Education, Not the End. You should always look for ways to advance your career knowledge and professional qualifications. Attending seminars, reading trade journals, and pursuing certifications should be part of your ongoing professional development process.
Truth #4: An Employer’s First Offer is Never Its Best Offer. Even in a tough economy, employers expect that you’ve done salary research and they anticipate having dynamic negotiations with you. In fact, the employer will be disappointed if you don’t negotiate, and they may question their decision to make you an offer. Always negotiate the job offer, or you will be “leaving money on the table.”
Truth #5: Always Research and be Plugged Into the Competition. By being aware of the key players in your industry (companies and individuals), your competitiveness will be enhanced when jobs are hard to come by. This will allow you to jump on opportunities that others may not be aware of.
Truth #6: Networking is More Important Than You Think. Put time aside every week for active networking, to maintain established relationships and develop new ones. You should always be positioned to leverage your professional and personal contacts when the need arises. Networking is the single most important and effective job-search strategy.
Truth #7: If YOU’RE Not Managing Your Career, NOBODY is. You and only you hold the keys to your career success, your future, and your own brand of employment security. No one else is responsible – not the employer, not the Human Resources Manager, not your career coach, not a recruiter. Only you.
“If you understand these seven simple principles, your level of focus, commitment and clarity will come through in every phase of the job search,” says Myers.
Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. Ford has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. He is author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.