I spoke recently to a group of approximately 40 job seekers who were alumni of a well respected and nationally ranked major university. They interacted well, asked questions, and seemed genuinely interested in the topic. I volunteered my time free of charge and made several offers of help to this audience. That’s the good news.
Now for the bad news: The majority of the audience was composed of lame job seekers. I can’t say that I was surprised, having volunteered at similar venues for several years and seen many similar groups. But, it is always a little bit of a letdown.
Before I go any further and before you become indignant and stop reading, let me explain what I mean by the adjective “lame”. One of the definitions for “lame” in dictionary.com is
“impaired or disabled through defect or injury”
Lack of Initiative Can Hurt Your Search
These job seekers, as well as many of those I have met and conversed with by phone, fit this definition perfectly. They didn’t know what they were doing and were making things up as they went. And, they lacked initiative. Ignorance plus a lack of initiative is an impairing/disabling combination for those who are unemployed or unhappy in their current line of work.
Let me explain a little further. While you and I may debate what people are thinking and what their motives are, there is much less room for debate about observable behaviors. Here are behaviors that I observed from the recent alumni audience:
- I offered them a helpful “How to prepare for a job interview” document and asked them to email me if they wanted a free copy. Only two of the 40 attendees emailed me to request the document the next day.
- I selected three people in the audience to receive a free coaching session. Of the three, I only heard from one of them in the first few days after the session.
- I brought copies of my detailed job search book and made them aware it was available then are there. Only one person came forward at the end of the event, checked it out, and bought a copy.
Take a Hard Look in the Mirror
If you are an active job or career seeker, for your own benefit I ask you to take a hard look in the mirror and consider if you are failing to take advantage of resources that are readily available to you (there are many!), failing to follow up in a timely manner, and failing to invest even microscopic $$ and time to make things better.
Like it or not, many people you encounter along your career seeking journey (not just me) will be observing your behaviors and judging your behaviors. If you are failing to do these things, they are likely to notice and this will reflect negatively on their opinions. Positive actions will enhance your personal brand and negative actions will tend to damage your personal brand.
You deserve the best career life has to offer. But, only if you genuinely pursue it. Don’t impair your career results or disable your future. Wake up and smell the coffee! Something better is ready and waiting for you.
Best wishes for your success in the new year.