I read many insightful articles. Hopefully I have written a few over 17 years. Recently I read some articles published by The Wall Street Journal and other publications devoted to job search insights.
Unfortunately most article insights do not go far enough to provide the kind of detailed, one on one coaching someone needs during a job search. They can’t. It’s not really the writer’s problem. I have written four nationally published articles for The Ladders recently and many, many more for my career services colleagues and in many other publications. I get emails from people opening their hearts, commenting or giving me their story. I know I might have raised certain questions and not solved them. I pitch in. But to me search can be a complicated field, a Tower of Babel.
Articles can’t cover much. Add spousal tension, market destruction in certain fields and other problems like rabbit punching ego blows and search gets real complicated real fast. At least that’s one way I see it. In search so many voices sound like screaming fans. You are the player on the field. Do you hear them? Can you distinguish the one voice that makes sense? The raw truth about search is about listening to your inner voice. Some call it the Holy Spirit. Call it what you want. But listening to or having someone distill what you need to do or to define the clear voice remains paramount. And difficult.
The refrain of insights by well meaning friends can even be empty at this tough, often depressing time. And advice columns cannot solve problems. It’s like listening to CNBC and forming a coherent financial plan. It’s a bit like listening to political talk shows and clarifying your political viewpoint. It’s point, counterpoint and darn confusing.
In fact the behind the scenes truth during the haste of a new job search sometimes hurts and does not help jobseekers. It’s a panorama of confusing, well meaning opinions. I am often debunking myth after myth and creating the jobseekers individual search plan based on everything I can muster in 17 years of doing this and it just hasn’t gotten that much easier.
And the world can be set especially against the short cut focused or jobseeker who is not careful.
For example, most recruiters complain to me about being overwhelmed by jobseekers screwing up their brand in these ways:
1. Poor resumes – not targeted, not professional
2. Poor phone skills, follow up skills or etiquette in initial email communications
3. Overly aggressive behavior when communicating by phone or email after sending the resume and cover letter
4. Lack of research on firm or even recruiting firm when engaged in screening interviews
5. Unrealistic pay or compensation expectations
Stress and pain often reveal how we handle crisis. Many of us can handle a no when it is given against our company or a product we may represent. Most people in search do not know the journey to yes and the response to no during this time.