Become a Conscious Competent Job Searcher

by John Buckley

September 5, 2013

I am a sales guy who searches out opportunities for a living. I’m pretty good at it in spite of my current circumstances. So, it surprises me to see people (not all but too many) working hard but aimlessly in their search for a new job. They are classic examples of Unconscious Incompetents. (This isn’t as harsh as it sounds; bear with me.) They don’t understand why they aren’t progressing in their search. They don’t know what they are doing is ineffective.  It can be frustrating.  It can be frightening. But it can be better.


First, it’s not their fault; they don’t know what they don’t know. That’s kind of the definition of an Unconscious Incompetent. They need to discover that there is a better way. If the above sounds at all like you, you have hopefully just been enlightened! You’ve just taken the first step; you are now a Conscious Incompetent.  Ouch! This is supposed to be better??

Well, yes. Now you know what needs fixing. You just need to move through the learning process. Next stop:  Conscious Competent! Ok, fine, you say, but how?

We’re not pioneers. People have been searching for work since leaving the farm. Smart people have observed what works and what doesn’t. They wrote their conclusions in books. Read them, do what they say. (The doing is the important part!)

In one very good book, Orville Pierson has written the The Unwritten Rules of Highly Effective Job Search.  In it, he describes and highly recommends Job Search Work Teams. Some people call them accountability groups. This is where you can find people who have walked the learning path to become Conscious Competent job searchers. They’ve developed a good polish on the job search skills taught by Pierson. Part of what they learned is to share what they learned. They will help you move along the path to being a Conscious Competent job searcher.

If you are in the Chicago area, the Job Search Circle (JSC) is a high energy networking group based largely on Pierson’s methodologies led by the charmingly powerful Rosemary Monahan. JSC sponsors about a dozen different Job Search Work Teams. Find one near you, join it, do what they say. If you do, you will become the Conscious Competent Job Searcher. As a result, you will find the right job for you, sooner.

Do you know of a great networking group in your area? Other thoughts? Leave a comment below.


2 responses

  1. […] Become a Conscious Competent Job Searcher ( […]

  2. […] people are Unconscious Competents (UC, the final step in the learning process we talked about a few weeks ago) at ease with making idle chit chat sustainable, engaging and […]

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