Monthly Archives: March 2012

….what can you do for us today!

I spend a lot of my time explaining to people that, even though they think the market is getting better… and it is… most folks are still having difficulties getting interviews and performing well on those interviews because hiring authorities and the companies they work for want as many immediate results as they can possibly get. What this means is that the idea of hiring the “best athlete” we hear about in theory doesn’t really work in practicality.

I have candidates, daily, explain to me that they know they can do the job they see me post or send to my contacts. They  are convinced they would get the job because they have been successful in every job they’ve ever had. The truth is that they probably can do the job but there’s a difference between being able to do the job and being able to get it.

What it comes down to is that the candidates who are getting hired are the people who can most accurately prove they can provide immediate results for the company they are interviewing with.

Either directly or implicitly, hiring authorities want to know “what can you do for me… today… right now… not next year, not the year after… but right now.” The candidate who can communicate the most confidence in being able to provided quick results is usually the favored candidate.

I know this isn’t necessarily “fair.” I see hundreds of candidates who would make excellent employees lose out to “lesser” candidates because the lesser candidates interview well and communicate, “I can make your company better or more profitable… right now!”

So the lesson is, the more immediate, positive impact on an organization you can communicate you will have the better your chances of getting hired.

….make your bed…clean your garage…the little disciplines

Often, when people are laid off or let go from their job and all of a sudden find themselves unhappy, they express their depressed state by letting themselves go and quit the little disciplines that used to help them feel good about themselves and increase their self-esteem. On top of being mad and angry, they all of a sudden have all kinds of time on their hands as well as being fearful of the daunting task of having to look for a job.

Rather than begin a massive action plan of looking for a job, they rationalize “taking a small break.” They start sleeping in ever day, postpone job search activities and literally get lazy. They delude themselves by thinking they are looking for a job by searching the Internet in their house slippers and pass the time of day “getting ready” to look for a job.

The little disciplines of life that used to help them with their self-image are eliminated and open the door to self-pity.

We all know how emotionally devastating and downright debilitating being laid off or fired can be. Even if you have a job you don’t like or you know can end at any moment due to the erratic economy, your emotional state is low. This kind of low emotional state can lead to some pretty unfortunate results.

This is a time in one’s life when a person should become even more disciplined than they were before. My experience has been that if people are self disciplined when times are difficult they rebound from the emotional strain faster. I’ve written before about routines and rituals in the job search and how important they are to effectively rebound.

An emotional blow like being laid off or fired and being faced with time on your hands in a depressing state perpetuates the problem.

So, some of the things you can do to rebound quickly is to “double” the personal disciplines you had when you were employed. Get up every day at exactly the same time, make your bed, be disciplined about dressing in your business “uniform” for job search activities. Cleaning up your garage… on Saturday morning… never when you should be interviewing… makes you feel better about yourself. Keeping your car clean and tidy makes you feel good when you get in it and drive.

These little disciplines will help in maintaining your self-confidence. That kind of self-confidence will carry over into the discipline of getting more interviews and performing well on those interviews. You’ll feel better and you’ll do better.

…some recent statistics

118…average number of resumes received for every job posting

16…the average number of employees in an American company

7.5 million… business establishments in the U.S.

16..the average number of interviews it takes to get a job offer

60 months…projected length of this ‘jobless recovery’

7 million…decline in the number of jobs in U.S. since December of 2007

1 in 10…the number of Americans who move annually, down from 1in 5 in 1985

20%…proportion of men in the population not working today, up from 7% in 1970

23%…drop in rate of new businesses creation since 2007…resulting in 1.8 million fewer jobs

21 million…jobs needed by 2020 to return to full employment in the U.S.

1.5 million …estimated shortage of college graduates in the workforce in 2020

40%…proportion of companies planning to hire that have had openings for 6 months

58%…employers who say they will hire more temporary and part-time workers

refer to the “Stockdale paradox”…further explains these stats