Monday, October 14, 2013

D.I.Y. Requires Real Effort

I say it until I am blue in the face -- why do people think emailing a resume represents activity? Where have they gotten the ridiculous notion that it demonstrates effort? Most people invest time to assemble a good resume and perhaps a cover letter, but after that they stop and expect the Internet to do the rest for them. Think about it, it is patently silly and makes no sense and yet they grumble because no one is rushing to hire them, their phone doesn’t ring and they anxiously check their inbox, disappointed that there’s very little to show for all their effort, if that’s what you want to call it.
When you want to change the oil in your car, you can do it yourself, but most people have someone else do it. When you want to build a deck or a patio behind your home, you can do it yourself or pay someone else to do it and they might even do a better job than you can. But you cannot realistically sub-contract or pass off your personal responsibility for finding your own job to anyone or anything else, but that’s precisely what too many people are attempting to do. I am a headhunter and indeed I help some people and client companies with their efforts, but I cannot take their place in an interview; it’s theirs to win or lose the opportunity. Finding a job for yourself is truly a DIY function. You can make a half-assed effort, as most people are doing, but guess what the results will be? Like many efforts in which you are involved, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
I’d like to suggest that you lose the misguided perception it’s as easy as keystrokes to get a good paying job, especially now, when you have more and more people clambering over each other competing for available jobs. If you have not yet realized finding a good job requires some sweat equity, in addition to your online activities, then you really don’t get it. If you are unwilling to do more to improve your chances of success, get used to eating the dust created by those who do understand as they leave you behind. Sorry, but I don’t believe anyone is entitled to a good job and if somebody told you this and you believed it, you were easily misinformed. However, everyone should be entitled to a fair chance or opportunity and there are already laws and protections for this. Perhaps in past years things were too easy for many. I don’t mean to be insulting but here’s a news flash, a good thing is never easily attained and if it’s not earned, it’s not really appreciated. As you read this, are you still thinking you’ll just sit back and email your way to gain a good job or career opportunity? As I have demonstrated, most people handicap themselves from the very start without realizing it. Then, when things fail to materialize from thin air, they find something or someone else to blame for the lack of results.
Let me share some truths that most accomplished business persons and any good sales reps know; rarely does a potential customer or client invest, buy or hire on a one-time, first-time call and/or meeting. A good sales person will tell you that it takes two, three, four or more sales meetings before any contracts are signed. And the bigger the sale or the higher the stakes, the longer it takes and the more work they must do on the front end of the deal. Ironically, my best clients have always been the most difficult to attain. I earned their business by going back and following up for as long as it took, provided I had a good message and had something to offer --  a solution to solve a problem or fill a need. If you are approaching potential employers you must do the same.
There is nothing wrong with exploiting digital tools to your advantage to fortify or streamline your efforts. The fallacy is the assumption that technology is a panacea or replacement for the things that are just as true today as before becoming a debilitating crutch; there is no replacement for a face-to-face greeting and a firm handshake. How you reach that point is the dilemma for a lot of people who’ve lost the ability to do it yourself.
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