Off the Beaten Path in Career Search

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS
I speak to many people conducting career campaigns and, when listening to their stories, I am struck by how the rules of looking for a job have changed.  As a result, I thought that it might help you to hear about things that have been happening out there that stray a little bit from what many of you are used to doing in the past.

First of all, it is not uncommon to have multiple interviews. Years ago you may have had one or two interviews. In today’s job market, you may start off with a telephone interview that lasts 25 minutes or more to see if the hiring decision maker even wants to meet with you.  After this, you may be asked to complete a series of small essays, provide a case study or even a small marketing plan to give the recruiter or hiring decision maker more of an opportunity to see if you are someone to bring in.  This offers your interviewer a window on your written communication skills under pressure.

Thereafter, it is not abnormal to be interviewed by numerous people in a large company.  Interviewing can take place at one time, going from person to person, or, you might be asked back for interviews on different days.  This requires endurance, both mental and physical.  From the physical standpoint, you have to be on top of your game throughout the process.  From a physical standpoint you need to get plenty of rest and proper nutrition. In addition, you also have to be prepared with the proper business attire so that you are not wearing the same outfit over and over again.  From a mental standpoint, it is necessary to find ways to calm your nerves to appear cool and collected, which is the type of employee that companies want in the clutch. At our Career Planning on a Napkin 2011 presentation, we were shown a technique using tapping on accupressure points or EFT to help alleviate stress.  If you meditate, get into your zone to help give you the balance you need to get through the process.

In today’s global world with everyone looking to save money on travel, technology has come to the rescue by giving interviewers the gift of video conferencing.  Whether it is on Skype or some other platform, it can throw you off if you are not prepared for it.  All of this technology has its limits, so do not get flustered when the screen freezes, you hear an echo or you get disconnected.  I have a client with a son working in China who laments all of the time about how all of the fancy technology has its limits.  In an interviewing environment it can try your nerves if you are expecting everything to be perfect and it is not.  Understand that if the company is using this type of technology for an interview, they have probably experienced this before in interviews and are accustomed to it.  You can show off your ability to go with the flow by not getting freaked out about it.

I am struck by what my friend, a huge baseball fan, told me about one of her favorite players.  My friend loves the Yankees, especially Nick Swisher.  Normally a good hitter, Swisher has been struggling at the plate this year.  Every game, commentators go through a litany of statistics (baseball is all about statistics) on Swisher and how he has been suffering in a bad batting slump.  However, over the past several weeks he has been making adjustments and persevered to the point that today he hit his fifth homerun.  This applies to career search as well.  If you persevere and make adjustments, you will ultimately hit your homerun as well.

Please leave me a comment and let me know if this helped you.  As always, I wish you every success.  In search and need help, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com.

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