I love reading articles on how to succeed in business because they speak to how to succeed at the job search. I can relate almost everything to the job search, but business is by far the easiest way for me to see a connection, as evident by an article written by Richard Branson, founder of Virgin group.
1.Listen more than you talk. “ Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice,” says the author. This point the author makes is sage advice when, as examples, you’re networking or at an informational meeting.
People like to be heard, not talked at, so make fellow networkers feel appreciated. You’ll get your turn to talk if the relationship is worth nurturing. If you’re granted an informational meeting (I prefer this term over “informational interview), you’re there to gather information, not dominate the discussion.
2. Keep it simple. “Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel.” An example of this is jobseekers who are constantly thinking of the next best thing for a résumé, or have 20 people review it. (Twenty people will result in 20 different answers.)
Often it’s not your résumé that needs constant revisions; it’s the way you distribute it. Take heed of the advice job search experts, recruiters, and employers give; find the avenues by which to send your accomplishment-based and keyword-rich résumé. These can be found through networking.
3. Take pride in your work. The jobseekers who succeed at getting a job in quick fashion are those who show pride in their work. By work, I mean the effort and focus you put into developing a support system, namely your network; the pride you display by dressing the part whenever you’re in public; the professionalism you demonstrate at interviews; and the follow-up after your interviews.
4. Have fun, success will follow. I wouldn’t blame you if you felt like popping me one in the mouth. Looking for work isn’t fun—I know, having been there—but as the author said, “A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.” Your supporters and employers will respond better to positivity than a display of despair and bitterness.
I’m often impressed by the jobseekers I see who don’t give into their inner fear and frustration, but rather smile whenever they attend my workshops. This shows confidence that employers are seeking in their candidates, even in my workshops but especially at an interview.
5. Rip it up and start again. “Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong.” This is perhaps the best advice we can take away from this article.
Often we’ll experience letdown during the job search, and it’s human to hope that our first interview will result in a job. But the fact remains that you’ll have as many as 7 opportunities before getting a job offer.
I’m constantly impressed by jobseekers who suffer a long unemployment before landing a job. This is a testament to their perseverance. No matter how sick and tired you are of hearing, “Don’t give up,” keep in mind that giving up will not result in a rewarding job.
The sooner you think of yourself as a small business owner who has to market and sell your product, the sooner you’ll land your next job. I would add one more point to Richard Branson’s article….Work hard at what you want. You’ve worked hard while employed, so working hard at your job search should follow naturally. This time you’re your own boss, though.