The Holy Grail of Job Search

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Mar 04

Yesterday, I was helping a client with her resume. Let me tell you, resume rules suck. Should it be one page, two pages or more? Should it be formatted this way or that way? Should we talk about skills one way or another?

We worked through it, though, and she will do fine. But it begs the other question about job searches — where are the standard methods of finding jobs? How should we answer interview questions?

If you searched, I probably have a hundred different articles on job searches and interviewing just on this site. Some of them probably contradict each other! Well, I hope they don’t, but you get the idea — there are thousands and thousands of advice articles on how to conduct a job search. They are all wrong. And, they are all right.

This drives most people crazy — but Cubicle Warriors know the answer lies not in the advice, but what you do with the advice for your own job search. Here’s the Cube Rules holy grail of job searching:

1. Know yourself and what you want out of work

Yes, you need job skills. However, unless you understand how you work best — what managerial style, what team characteristics, what corporate experience supports your best work — you will never be happy or satisfied with the job you are in. You won’t ask the right questions during an interview process, you won’t connect with your manager and you won’t connect with your team.

If you know yourself and what you want, you can improve your chance of success in the workforce.

2. Build a robust business network

Most jobs are found through your business network. Plus, the biggest probability of landing a job comes when you are recommended by an employee in the company you targeted.

So it makes sense to build a broad business network in as many different companies as you can to increase your chances of success. Trust me — no one does this enough and having a robust business network gives you a huge competitive advantage when it comes time to look for a job.

3. Expand the methods you look for jobs

I moved to a new town recently. I purposely looked for locals on Twitter to follow and set them up on their own list. (You know you can do this, right?) It was a way for me to learn about what was happening in my new home town.

You know what is cool? When there are job openings at companies, your local connections put that out on Twitter. I’ve seen two jobs in the last three weeks that I personally qualify for just on this list. It’s not the 5,000 Twitter followers you have — it is the targeted one hundred that can really help in a job search.

Is your cube-mate looking for jobs this way? Nope. Yet, you will have a Cubicle Warrior advantage over your coworkers if you think a bit of this through to help in your job search.

4. Practice interview questions

When is the last time you did an interview? If it is a long time ago, you have no clue how the interviews work today. You need to start practicing how you will answer standard interview questions so that you get comfortable with how you answer — and find out what you are missing that needs improving.

Or, if it was recent and you didn’t get the job, think through how you answered your interview questions. Did your answers have a story? Did they show how you related to your manager and team? Did two of the questions throw you for a loop? Practice, practice, practice.

Your competition won’t practice their answers, you know. If you practice your answers, it gives you a competitive advantage going into the interview.

5. Know how long your position will last

All jobs end. Either management ends them or you do because it is time to move on to a different job in your company or a different company. Yet, we don’t think through when a position will end and then wonder why we are out in the street looking for jobs when all the smart people got out early.

Well, the smart people — you! — figured out that their position was going to end and started their job search eight months ago. There is a world of difference finding a job when you have a job and finding one when you don’t.

The holy grail of job search takes work

If you searched here to read this post thinking that you’d get an answer, you did. If you searched here and were thinking you would get the easy-to-implement, 3-point mantra that will auto magically lead you to job search success, not so much.

It is now a job skill to do a job search — not an ad hoc event that happens once every three years. It now takes consistent work with a sound strategy to continually find new positions. Do the work and you’ll find the jobs. Keep going without doing the work and you’ll find your next job as easily as the rest of humanity has found the holy grail these last two thousand years.

What work will you do to find your next job?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.