5 Keys to Having Fun in a Job Search

job search Jan 05, 2021

Vic came to one of our workshops after being laid off with 1,300 others. His goal: aviation flight test engineer. Not a lot of those in his market. He obtained his goal within 48 days at 15% higher salary. Most importantly, he told me 18 days into his job search "I'm having so much fun on this job search!"

"Fun" and "job search" do not appear in most sentences. One person described finding a job has "the most demeaning thing I have ever done". Yet, we have found that following the keys listed in this article transforms a demeaning task into fun. We will expound on each key on the 3rd Friday of each month in 2018.

1: Identify Your Passion and Competence

Organizations write job descriptions, in part, to outline ideally what they want in future employees. They compare, through applicant tracking systems and interviews, each applicant to their ideal. We recommend that you write an employer description outlining ideally what you want in your career. Then compare each job opportunity to your ideal. Recognize that no job will match exactly what you want, but you can get as close as possible.

Your employer description will include sections about each of the following:

  • Descriptions for each of the 6 essential elements of a job (see our LinkedIn article)
  • The skills or responsibilities you do very well and that you love to use the most. Ask yourself "Are their people or organizations that need those skills to achieve their goals?"
  • Your most important values (ones that if conflicted, will make the job impossible)
  • Salary range: The minimum salary you will accept to how much you want to earn

2: Adopt the "How Can I Help?" Attitude

People looking for a job, tend to make everything about them. Successful people at work look for ways they can help their supervisors, peers, subordinates, and the organization. Maintaining the "How can I help?" attitude changes your job search from demeaning to exalting. You will feel better finding someone who needs your skills and expertise to accomplish their goals or solve their problems.

Practice saying, seeing, and believing "How can I help?".

3: Ask Questions to Discover Wants and Needs

Step 1 and 2 prepare you to ask questions to discover what managers and organizations want to accomplish and need to resolve problems. You will ask questions of two basic groups of people: 1) people doing the work you want to do and 2) people working in organizations that need your skills to accomplish their goals.

Your questions want to explore

  • Projects, goals, and expectations the organization is trying achieve
  • What they do well, technical issues, software platforms, or performance indicators
  • What they wish they did better, challenges, roadblocks or barriers to success
  • The group you might be able to help: size, location, internal, or outsourced

Remember, the intent of gathering the information determines your success. You will achieve more success if your intent is to find people and organizations that need your help, rather than finding a job.

4: Say the Right Thing to Prove You Are the Solution They Need

Once you identify a need within an organization, you need to say the right thing to prove you are the solution they need. Your purpose is to provide them accurate and appropriate information to make a good decision. You give them facts including measurable results that apply to their goals or needs. You prove you can help them achieve what they want by proving:

  1. You can do the job they want done
  2. You will fit into their team and organization
  3. You will provide an profitable return on investment (ROI)

5: 10 Contacts a Day & 10 Meetings a Week

Now that you know what you have to offer, how to gather information, and what to say to prove you are their solution; you begin talking to people: 10 calls a day and 10 face-to-face meetings a week. The job seeker in you just screamed 10 CALLS A DAY, YOU MUST BE MAD!. You can talk to anybody if your attitude is "How can I help?"

This will help you break down the purpose of each call or meeting:

  • 10 calls a day: 4-5 to ask questions to discover wants and needs, 2-3 to schedule meetings, 2-3 to reconnect after meetings
  • 10 face-to-face meetings a week: 5-6 to ask questions and 4-5 to prove to decision makers that you are the solution they need to accomplish their goals

Each key builds on the previous step. You can't adopt the "How can I help?" attitude until you have identified your passion and competence. Your questions will sound self-serving unless motivated by the "How can I help?" attitude. Combined, however, you can find a great job within 8 weeks. More importantly, you (like Vic) will be able to say "I'm having so much fun on this job search!"

We will expound on each key in future articles on the 3rd Monday of each month


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