Top 3 Things to Do
Understand Your Network
If you are like me, you have a pretty great network. In my case, I have hundreds of connections and most of these people I know in one form or another. I recognize my network and engage them often. When I am looking for help or expertise, there is a good chance I can find someone fairly quickly. This does NOT immediately translate to finding a job. When I started looking for a job a few years back, I thought I could reach into the network and change my situation pretty quickly. It took me some time to realize that as much as people wanted to help me, it wasn’t going to be easy or fast to find my next. The people in our network generally want to help but they have challenges of their own. If the timing is right, they may be able to do something but if not, the best they could do may be to refer you to someone else or give some advice. One thing to consider is that your working situation is really your problem. The network will help you but you have to think through your expectations and be reasonable about what you think they can do. There will also be a few surprises by people you never expected to help or show up. You learn a lot through the process.
As you are thinking about your next role, don’t limit yourself to the things you “think” you can do. Understand and consider that no matter what role you take on, there is a lot to learn. Being a subject matter expert may not represent the whole of the next role. Let’s say you are a developer that has worked alone for many years. You know how to code, you know what to do and you have history and experience. That said, you may have never worked on an Agile team. You may have never used a tool like Slack or Teams. You may have never worked in an open space. You may have never led a virtual team. For all the things you know, there are many things you don’t. If you are open to learning and have intellectual humility, it may not matter. It also opens up the possibilities for you to do new and exciting things.
Meeting Halfway or More
Have you ever been ghosted by a prospective employer? Chances are you have. The process of courting and landing are complicated by automation, outsourcing and the serial deconstruction of human resources. Truth is, the whole situation is complicated. You have to ignore the rude people and ignore the bots. You have to press on with the job of finding your next. Many people ask me about how you keep from being depressed through constant rejection and poor treatment. The answer is “ignore it all” there is a good reason to believe that hiring managers never even get to see your resume. They have mountains of systems and people that block you from them. Statistically, you have to align to certain criteria to make it through the gate. You can cut the line if you know someone but more often than not, you are an electronic resume in a pile. You can do a few things to help you stand out.
- Research your target company. Do some research on the target company and show an interest. oracle one-stop <-Example
- Invest a reasonable amount of time ideating on how you fit. What I choose to do is investigate, learn, and write. I look at the roles carefully and gather information relative to the organizational strategic goals. If I can clearly see how everything comes together, I write it up and infer some ideas on how I may be of service.
- Set expectations early as you start to engage with a recruiter and be mindful of who you are talking to. The outside recruiter is one conversation but inside is a totally different conversation. One is incentivized by your employment, the other is not. If you understand the differences and act accordingly, it makes for a better overall experience for you.
- Expect nothing, give within reason. The more energy you invest, the more you will stand out. The more energy you invest, the more likely you will be disappointed if things fall through. You have to balance this out. You can create templates and reuse them based on your skill set to showcase your skills. If you would like to see an example, contact me.
I want to stress a point here. You aren’t alone but when you are in the boxing ring, it is only you exchanging blows with your opponent. Many people will sit ringside and cheer or jeer (yes, it can go both ways.) The actions that you take are your responsibility. People care about you but at the end of the day, they are in their own ring fighting their own battles. When the world starts to feel heavy, that is the time to double down, gain focus and purpose. Through purposeful action, you will land your next job. You did it before, you will do it again.
If you have questions, comments or would like to see examples of artifacts that I have used, feel free to contact me. If you find this useful, please share it.