Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.
The job search is paralyzing to creativity. Need proof? Look no farther than me.
After I graduated from college and started looking for a job, I struggled. Big time. I didn’t find a single opportunity that interested me. I applied to some jobs, but I can’t honestly say that I wanted to land any of them. (It’s no big surprise that I didn’t get offered any of them.)
When I finally stopped looking for jobs and started One Day, One Job to help other new grads with their job searches, it became a lot easier. All of a sudden I was finding really cool companies with exciting jobs left and right.
Was there suddenly a surge of exciting jobs available?
What happened was that I was no longer stifled by my job search. I was able to regain my creativity, even though my goal was essentially the same – to find interesting jobs.
The reason that One Day, One Job keeps people coming back for more isn’t because of the jobs. Nearly every job that I write about I’ve found on another website – there are very few exclusives. What brings people back to the site is that I bring life to the companies’ stories, the problems they need solved, and I tell my readers what they can do to become a part of these stories and to solve these problems. That’s not only approach that takes creativity, but it’s also one that prepares people for the hiring process.
I solved my problem of not having a job by stepping away from my own job search, solving a problem that bothered me, and helping companies tell their stories. Although I did it by starting my own company, you can do the same to achieve your goal of finding a job that you love.
This lesson should be one of the simplest to understand, but it’s also going to be one of the most difficult for you to adopt.
Let’s put it this way: When you think that you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, you’re going to get desperate.
Desperate people don’t get jobs. For the record, they don’t get dates, either. So don’t be desperate unless you want to stay desperate.
What you need is a way to trick yourself into not being so desperate… a way to see lots of opportunities, and to see clearly what advantage you bring to each case. A way to define companies’ problem on your terms.
You’ve already got the most important parts — the right attitude and mindset — but now we’ve got to get tactical.
If job descriptions are the opportunities as defined by others, then your first step has got to be to anticipate where, when, and how job descriptions will come about, and you need to intercept that process. Actually, you not only need to intercept it, but you also need to redirect it!
And to do that, you need to be working with companies that are a good fit for you. Companies whose stories match your own, so that when you start meeting their people and solving their problems, the “fit factor” question is reinforced at every interaction.
This may sound like managing a paradox, but it’s actually quite doable. It started with the Clarifying Event. Now we brainstorm.
How do we brainstorm?
By always looking. That’s it. Everywhere you go and everything you do should generate ideas. You need to be insatiably curious, but not about jobs. About stories and problems. Once you do that, the jobs will start to appear.
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