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Friday, August 05, 2005

Effective Job Hunting

You must have noticed how the number of companies devoted to job listings, both
on- and off-line, are multiplying like a plague. But very few of them realise that the
job hunt starts way before you ever open a newspaper or log on to your favourite search
site. It begins in your current job. And that means today!

It begins with maximising your potential in your current job and then providing you
with the guidance and advice you need to move onwards and upwards.
You see, just as you only build a house brick by brick, so each working day you are
progressing your career in some way, adding to your experience, moving towards your
annual goals, monthly quota or shift targets. It all adds up to whether you can do your job,
are good at it, or are great at it. You either build a town house or a mansion. It just
depends on the number of bricks you lay. It also helps to put your best looking ones in full
view – a quick self-marketing analogy for you, which will become apparent in the section
of CVs.
Preparation for your next job starts TODAY – in your present one.
But before I jump the gun, let me back track to re-emphasise that it is your current job you
need to focus on as preparation for your next job. Because without proof of success in
what you do now, the harder will be your task of finding a newer, better one later.
Conversely, if you excel at it, the stronger and quicker you will swing up the corporate

The employment market is growing ever more fluid and competition is growing progressively
fiercer. To win through – and to win quickly – you will need all the help you can get.
Playing the game is far more fun when you know you can win.

As the number of 'visible' job seekers drops, wage offers tend to rise, there being fewer to pick out of the dole queues. Simple supply and demand. This encourages those already in jobs to jump ship. So unless you're a fresh-faced graduate, who typically have their own specially reserved territory to fight over, you will usually have to compete against more people looking to switch jobs than those looking to get re-employed. There are advantages and disadvantages in this, depending upon which group you currently belong to – employed or unemployed.
If you're employed, you can more afford to bide your time, waiting for the right job to crop up.
You can apply in full confidence that if you don't get it, it's probably no great shakes. You are still getting paid and can wait for the next offer. That takes off a huge amount of pressure and boosts your confidence enormously. This confidence can't help but show through in an interview and that is a big plus in any interviewer's note book.

When you're unemployed, though, the urgency is more real. Every interview counts. To get
turned down after all your efforts and all your raised hopes can be tremendously depressing. You have to be tougher, more focused, more determined and more resilient. Ironically, the gravity of the situation focuses the mind wonderfully. And that can bring quick success.
When you're unemployed, you have the advantage of being a full-time, "professional" job hunter.

Moreover, you get all the time you need to research your target company, practice your
interview technique, rehearse your answers and review your performance between interviews.
You make job-hunting your full time job. And that makes you more of a professional at it than the others. So do not despair. You do, in fact, have the upper hand in many respects.

Everybody's situation is different and every application unique in some respect. The key is
to take the principals on board and apply them to your situation and to your job applications.
Key words throughout this will be "informed and prepared" – the two most powerful weapons
you can carry with you. These should be the two main reasons why you are reading this – to get
pre-informed about job hunting and to thoroughly prepare yourself for the task ahead. Keep these two words in mind throughout and you'll find the final experience a whole lot more palatable.

Happy hunting.

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