I’ve been in the shoes of both employees and employers. And, from my experience, I’ve learned how you can not only find a job, but also ensure that you keep it.
1. Never Accept Defeat.
Your lack of employment does not make you worthless. Don’t allow the opinions of others discourage you. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Believe in yourself — and in your abilities — and keep trying.
2. Your Job Right Now Is To Find A Job.
Get up, get out, and go find it. Be active in your hunt. Don’t remain at home and be lulled into a sense of complacency, procrastination, and distraction. Act as you would when you are employed. Wake up early in the morning, go to places, and attend interviews. Take steps that can help you get a job, such as taking courses to upgrade your qualifications, learning new skills, taking part-time jobs, or attending networking events. You can do more than just scour through job classifieds in newspapers at home.
3. Don’t Depend On Resumes.
Essentially, your resume is just a piece of paper. Don’t use it to distract people from the real you. That being said, do make your resume sharp, concise, and easy to read. But don’t spend too much valuable time primping up your resume that you end up forgetting what the employer is really looking at: you.
4. Don’t Depend On Facebook.
Unless you want to work for Mark Zuckerberg, don’t depend on Facebook (or any social media) too much. Don’t flood Facebook walls or LinkedIn messages with your requests for job openings. Of course, there is no harm in asking around for any known career opportunities, but don’t overdo it by posting your entire contact details up for the world to see, or by hijacking every group discussion with your pleas. It reeks of desperation, laziness, and keyboard warrior syndrome. Don’t depend on Facebook friends and relatives to find jobs for you either. They are not in your shoes. You have to stand up for yourself.
5. Don’t Depend On Recruitment Firms or Agencies.
Even though they pretend otherwise, most recruitment firms do not have your best interests at heart. They are not just representing you, but also tons of other equally (if not more) skilled yet unemployed individuals. They don’t have your best interests at heart and they will sell you short.
6. Don’t Depend On HR.
An HR person’s job is to weed out resumes that are not good. HR takes one look at your resume and from that point, it is entirely up to him or her to either keep it or throw it away. If you don’t hear back from the HR department for a long time after sending out your resume, find your way around HR and try to get in touch with the boss, the hiring manager, or the decision maker. Be proactive.
7. Change Your Perspective on Interviews.
Don’t fear interviews. Instead of thinking of it as an assessment, think of it as an opportunity to sell yourself. An interview is essentially you talking about yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do. Show your prospective employers who you are, how you are going to help the company, what you have done for other companies, and what you are going to do for this company. Sell yourself so that when they come to you with an offer, you get to choose whether you want to accept it or not.
8. Talk About The Future.
Present yourself as if you are already part of the company. Talk about how you are going to help the company grow and prosper. But first conduct your own research to find out about the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Then relate yourself to the company’s future by stating how you can change or improve that. Bring in your perspectives and opinions on how you are going to make a difference; your fresh ideas and knowledge will make you stand out.
9. Prove Yourself.
It might not be easy finding a job, but it’s not easy keeping one either. There is no point in demanding high pay and benefits when you can’t do your job right. Put your money where your mouth is and do what you’re being paid to do. In fact, do more than what you’re being paid to do if you can. It will not just help you gain security and respect in your current job, but might even help you get glowing recommendations for your future jobs. Take responsibility for the work you are supposed to do; prove yourself.
10. Whatever Happens, Happens.
Don’t dwell on sour experiences, be it bad interviews or bad prior work experiences. Don’t talk badly about any company from where you previously worked, either in an interview or in your CV in an effort to “praise” the current company you are interviewing at. Your hiring manager may be smiling in your interview but chances are he or she has already ticked off your name under the assumption that you will probably talk equally as poorly about this company when you leave.
It may not feel like it now, but every bad interview or disastrous job is a life lesson learnt.
Good luck and be safe.