Q. My husband has been looking for a job for over a year. He has come very close to a few things, but each company takes a great deal of time to get through the process and he is invested in each job. He doesn’t want to look at others until he knows for sure what will happen. He is frustrated and still has no offer. What can he do to speed up finding out whether he will get the job or not?
A. The emotional highs and lows of job seekers are typically dependent on two factors – how they are received in the market place, and how much activity they have. Your husband is making a mistake many job seekers make – investing too much emotional energy in one job prospect, at the expense of all other job search activity. Looking at many opportunities helps job seekers identify what is most important to them, and comparing potential opportunities can help prioritize what matters most in the next job offer.
Every job seeker has a new job to be a sales person-and they are the product. As a candidate, you don’t get to the point of getting a new job until you become good at selling and many job seekers really don’t want that career, or to develop those skills. However, this method offers the most timely way to find a new job. To run an effective job search/sales campaign, job seekers need to chart their activity with the end goal of getting multiple offers at the same time.
The job search process follows an effective sales process. The early stages of both need to include a very wide funnel of potential opportunities, companies, positions – all prospects for the new job. You might start with 100 ideas of companies you’d like to work for. Don’t start too narrow, or you limit opportunities and minimize the odds for success. At every point, you eliminate companies so your total opportunity pool gets smaller, and you may add a few new opportunities. Even if you think you have identified THE dream job, do not stop the process of networking and generating additional referrals to other jobs and additional people to meet.
As your husband has found, waiting for one job search process to get to its conclusion, which can last from three to six months, is a waste of time. There is very little impact you can have on the schedule a company keeps as they move through the resume collection, screening, interview and hiring process, unless you have another offer.
Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners