If your primary goal in job search is to ‘get hired,’ then every day until you are hired, you will have failed. (So, how about adjusting your goal?)
This point was first presented to me in a speech by Orville Pierson, author of ‘The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search.’ He emphasized how each day in job search is repeated failure until you are instantly out of job search. Regardless of how close you may be to receiving an offer, until you accept an offer, you are fully in job search. After accepting an offer, you are instantly, fully out of job search.
I recall a North American Olympic ice skater who, after receiving a score much lower than what seemed reasonable, was quoted as saying” “That is how it is: If I wanted purely objective scoring, I would have been a speed-skater.” The fact that success levels would be assigned through a subjective means was a given, and she kept this awareness in her mind. Similar subjectivity exists in job search, and this is an important fact to keep in mind.
Your effort, dedication, and approach toward finding your next role tells a tale about you. You may earn certifications, formally volunteer your time, or informally help others, while in job search. It is your choice whether you recognize these efforts as valid endeavors while you seek your next role. I’ve had many discussions with people in transition who struggle to accept the value of their efforts. Although these efforts may not directly get you in front of a hiring manager, they do make you a stronger candidate when you are engaged in an interview.
Having a primary goal such as ‘Making myself better equipped, more valuable, and visible to prospective employers,’ can keep you focussed during your pursuit, and ensures personal recognition of your actions along the way. Remember that job search completion is reliant, at some level, upon someone else’s judgement. This is not a clear-cut, objectively scored competition, it is subjective.
Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor. He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.