Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unlock the Hidden Job Market: 6 Steps to a Successful Job Search When Times Are Tough by dition) by Martha I. Finney & Duncan Mathison (Book 2009)

First let me state that I got this book digitally for free when someone posted on a forum that it was going for $0.00. I would've never paid for such a book even if I were unemployed indefinitely. These "how to find a job" type of books are usually all written by a bunch of shysters who are just preying on the fact that so many people can be unemployed at any one time and will dump millions of resumes into the black hole of careers@company.com, hr@company.com, and on-line application forms.

Like all books, this one tells you to do some mass networking. They also tell you that they know that the natural feel of networking is that it is hella phony, artificial, and bullshit; but right afterwards they ignore this fact and gloss over it with the premise that "you are only having a conversation with a professional peer". Bullshit!

First off who is actually going to schedule you into their day so that for an hour you can "talk". Unless you are at some bullshit management level and does no work whatsoever then maybe. Real workers are usually busy...really busy, and those people aren't paid to have a conversation with you. Secondly the conversation will not be about the industry, it will be the dude with no job trying to leech any names, emails, or numbers of people who are actually responsible for the hiring or for them to be another "contact" that they can attempt to fakely make.

The whole point is that finding a job sucks and although real networking does work (friends, or when stretching it, friends of friends), it is almost impossible to go beyond that because you need that person to essentially vouch for you and your abilities. A friend of a friend might do that if they trust your mutual friend, but when push comes to shove, that person isn't going to pass your information along if they think it might make them look bad. And if HR comes back with "Do personally you know this applicant or contest to their abilities"?, the answer will be 'no', and then your resume goes back in the trash.

Another definition that the authors totally have incorrect is what a colleague is. In my world it is someone who has actually worked with you before and knows of your abilities. That person may be someone who would vouch for you; but in any other scenario, a guy you bumped into at a random location who so happens to be in your same industry is not a real colleague. He is the competition.

One other piece of advice that the authors dish out in their strategy is to make lists: Lists of people that you've met as contacts, lists of companies you would like to work for, etc. All this is unnecessary rubbish that keeps you busy. The fact of the matter is that the world is not ideal...that is why normal people don't win the lotto every week. You can list the 10 companies that you would like to work for but chances are that 1) They are not in the same geographical location as you 2) They don't need your skills and abilities 3) They don't exist. Normally people don't give a fuck about what company they work for or what they do, most don't have that luxury. They are there to work, get paid, and hopefully have to deal with the least amount of BS from their boss and co-workers. It is very rare for a company to be proactive in its road to success...hella small companies with hella good management might have this but the second you get over 30 people or so...it turns into more and more lame ducks just sitting there to get a paycheck while not doing any work.

The authors want you to be like a used car salesman and not to take no for an answer when someone says they don't have time to meet with you. What the authors do not get is that people who have jobs have almost nothing to "gain" by meeting with you, especially when the whole event is just a ruse to get cushy and to see if they have any leads for a job.

Anyone who has had a bout with unemployment knows that it sucks....bad. As months roll by you start giving up and putting less energy on searching because you never hear back from companies. This is a natural thing that must not get the best of you. Keep researching to see what companies are hiring and apply for any position that you think you can do a good job at. Just remember that you need only one....one company to give you the time of day and a chance.
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