Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It was the best of times....

One of the toughest components of conducting a job search is the overwhelming amounts of conflicting advice. I'm extremely fond of looking before I leap. I don't like to approach things half cocked, and I tend to do a lot of research to make sure that I'm not doing things incorrectly. Little is as frustrating as getting a quarter of the way through a task and then realizing you made a mistake in the beginning that invalidates your hard work.

As a result, I've read a lot of books. Read a lot of articles. Talked to a lot of people. And unfortunately, you can take nearly every position on job hunting and find someone who advocates it and someone who denounces it. Justifications are usually sound, but Eisenberg's uncertainty principle can't apply in this case. Somebody has to be right, and somebody has to be wrong.

I recently spent a lot of time on the Ask a Manager blog, which I think was one of the best resources I've visited thus far. Allison Green offers concise, well reasoned advice, and authors from the perspective that I wish to learn most from - the hiring manager. If you want to learn best about how best to beat a goalie, your best resource is to ask him what is weaknesses are. It's just fortunate in this case Allison is willing to share some of the most pertinent observations in her profession.

The biggest hurdle that I currently face is that I'm still not 100% sure of the direction I want to go. I have some vague ideas, but after doing literally tons of career exercises, I don't think I have any better insight than before I started. Most job books espoused the virtues of the hidden job market, all of which are somewhat meaningless when you don't know exactly what it is that you want to do.

Consequently, I'm going to follow some counter-intuitive advice for a different reason. I'm trying to best spend my energy targeting companies with growth potential. I'm willing to accept a more junior position at a larger firm that offers opportunities for advancement. I'm staying away from the career boards in the short term, focusing primarily on the positions advertised by the larger firms on their web page.

I'm hoping that once I apply for enough jobs, I develop enough quality resumes that I'm comfortable posting them on job web pages and trolling for a little activity in that regard. In addition, i think the only way I'm going to get a handle on what I want to do is explore the jobs that are on-line, and find out what's appealing to me. If I like it, I'll apply, and if I don't, I won't. By process of elimination, I'll be able to find the positions that are most suited to where I want to be.

I have a couple potentially good leads right now. One of my good friends has told me that to an extent, this is a numbers game. And while he is correct, it's a numbers game in terms of how many accurate rifle shots can you fire, more so than how many bullets can your Tommy gun discharge.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Neil - You are absolutely right about the amount of advice out there. It can be conflicting, overwhelming and can be counter to your comfortable style of managing a job search. Best is to read a lot, as you have, and then begin to filter it down to a solid job search strategy. One that you can execute efficiently . . .

    Congratulations on the new blog - I wish you all the best. Keep writing!