JobsGobble: Lessons from Successful Job Seekers

AH Jobs List hosted an incredibly inspiring and motivating seminar last week at the AH Jobs List annual JobsGobble: Secrets of the Successful Job Seekers.

Linda Sollars, one of Denver’s top job/life coaches moderated the panel composed of three victorious job seekers fresh from the hunt who shared their tales and offered tips from the front lines.

If you don’t know Linda, I would highly encourage you visit her website and, if you are looking for some advice and coaching, consider reaching out to her.  Her rates are affordable, but better, she is one of the most effective job coaches in Denver and can help you to either begin or realign your job search.  Visit Linda at http://www.creatingpurpose.com

Everyone has struggled with the Pandora’s box of rejection and the “stinking thinking” that can from job seeking and rejection.  But job seeking is a skill and the rules have changed about how to find a job and engage potential employers.

Each of the panelists discussed the common frustrations job seekers experience looking for a new job or trying to reinvent themselves into different careers.  The lack of response from employers was deemed the most challenging and keeping motivated on a daily basis, despite inevitable rejection, was also a difficult undertaking.

The  most common threads from the panel of successful job seekers was that looking for employment is not a ‘passive’ activity.  It is an ACTIVE endeavor that requires constant forward motion, pro-active connectivity and engagement.  If you are spending more than 25% of your time responding to dozens of job postings on the Internet, you will quickly hit a wall of frustration and anxiety.  Each of these job seekers used the Internet as a tool, but engaging their networks and finding the courage to taking a chance and reach out to someone was without question the most effective daily activity to finding a job.

So, what’s working?

•    Each of the panelists talked about the work they’ve done with Linda Sollars that helped them focus in on their strengths, skills and motivations. Linda stressed her approach of working with job seekers to identify who they are before they determine what they want to do.  By identifying their core values as an individual, they were able to better define the strengths that identified and influenced them as professionals and in turn, gave them a clearer picture of the type of employment and the type of company where they would be more successful.

•    The panelists all agreed that sending out hundreds of resumes to job postings is considered ineffective and a poor use of job seeking time. They advised spending quality time on job postings and researching companies in which they job seeker has relevant strengths and skills is more likely to get a response.

•    Connecting and interacting with people daily is a critical part of finding a job. Each of the panelists agreed that networking and cold-calling companies and individuals require courage and tenacity, but the results pay off.  One job seeker used informational interviews with executives as ‘listening sessions’ that helped her understand different industries and companies.  In addition, it helped her to get additional contacts and job leads.

•    Make good use of professional associations. Networking events at professional associations provides interaction opportunities with peers in your profession and helps

•    Each of the panelists made good use of LinkedIn. LinkedIn helped them to reach out to executives at companies they were researching as well as to promote themselves to corporate recruiters who are using LinkedIn  to identify talent.  One panelist was identified by her current employer who found her on LinkedIn.  In addition, they used LinkedIn to reach out to former colleagues, managers and peers.

•    Have an organized job seeking structure and plan. One of the panelists talked about how she conscientiously blocked negativity from her life during her job search even going as far as keeping her job-search secret from certain family members or friends who she didn’t think would give her the type of support she needed.  All agreed that looking for a job was a full-time job for them and while difficult, perseverance, courage and hard work always helped keep their hopes high, even during difficult lulls.

Other insights included:

Managing your career
One panelist was struck by how when he was employed,  he had done little to  give consideration to what he would do in the event he became unemployed.  When he was laid off, at first he thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a new job but quickly realized how unprepared he was.  He vowed that even though he’s now employed, he would always be on top of his resume and more aware of how his options in the event he loses his job in the future.

Think outside the box
Another panelist who has started her own consulting firm explained she had written her own job description by cutting and pasting different parts of job descriptions she had seen that seemed to fit her strengths and skills.  It helped her to figure out what types of jobs were available and it helped her to identify the positions that best defined her.

Many thanks to our panelists and to Linda Sollars from Creating Purpose, Kelly Stangel from the Denver Business Journal and to the Denver Athletic Club for hosting the JobsGobble event.

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