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Finding Roles in a Hot Market

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux 

Photo from Clem Onojeghuo in Unsplash

So today I was asked the question about the difficulty of being able to find a job when in fact it is supposed to be a hot job market at least for the job seeker. I think the secret sauce to a job search is communication. The reason why I say that is because it is that need and that ability to articulate the value you can bring to a business that sets one candidate apart from another. It also seems to accelerate the job search.

For those who I could see that they know their transferable skills, and what they can do to solve a problem, they already have these ideas down -it is a lot easier for them. Alternatively, those who struggle to find and pinpoint and identify and articulate their value, or they try to add too much to that message, actually do struggle in the job search.

There is a challenge in your communication when you are trying to level up or level down a job, because when it comes to entry-level jobs, what I am noticing is that those who are going after those roles can have a difficult time articulating their value, especially if they have not been in certain situations before. Some of this is a need for imagination, to be able to picture yourself in different scenarios or to recognize that there is some confidence that you have in yourself that lets you know you can do the job you are applying for, and also the need to be able to communicate that to an employer.

That is the part that can be missing from some applications when it comes to those with a lot of experience. I would say that it seems easier to do, but there is bias on that side -it could be ageism, it could be over-qualification. But when it comes to enacting a job search, some of that bias is within ourselves. It is that inability to not tell the whole story when only part of it will do. That can impede the ability of the employer to see the value that we bring or impede us from articulating that value. My recommendation on how to make this better is to find out where you can get information when you do not have the experience and cannot even imagine the scenarios you are about to face. Can you shadow somebody? Can you ask enough questions to be able to picture yourself doing the work so that you can articulate that better to an employer if you have a lot of experience?

Part of what you can do is go through the job and your resume and highlight only the parts that are the most relevant. Sometimes when going through a job description what I notice will happen is that people will start to recognize different things that they should be mentioning in their resume that are not already there. So, I do find it helpful to have a job description as a guiding light or a north star when writing a resume, just because it makes it easier to know what to leave out and what to make sure to include in that resume.

Managing expectations: that is huge on a job search because a job search can be a sprint, but it can also most definitely be a marathon. What that does is that it could play with our minds. When you are expecting it to happen fast, and it does not, there is a bit of a letdown and it might feel as though all the rejections are getting to you. When things do not work out as we expect, resilience is in how we bounce back. It is important to do so for it not to take the rest of our experience or hold us back from what we are trying to accomplish.

Photo from Candra Winata in Unsplash

I have also worked with people where the job offer came in so fast that they either did not believe it (it was too good to be true), or they kind of felt a little letdown, as they were digging in and they were ready for this job search marathon. It seems ironic to those who are in the marathon or the sprint. So, when it does not happen in the way that we expected, it does taint the experience. You just kind of wanted a longer job search. Then, a couple of things that you can do:

  • You can negotiate a different start time or start date for that role so that you have time to enjoy yourself.
  • Before you jump in, you can also give yourself three months to settle into that role and then begin, probably not as aggressive, but maybe a passive job search to see what is out there, what ideas come to mind, what you could be working on that will prepare you for the next role in the career journey that you are looking to create.

The other thing to consider is what can you do to pivot, to reset yourself. Some of it means that this is about to be longer than you expected. You need to take different care of yourself. Some of that might be having more time to contemplate and rest and build that into the job search that maybe was not already there. Because some of us, if you are like me, might want to power through, get that job, and move on and conquer the world. And then stuff starts to slow down. There is nothing more disappointing than that when you are in that moment. I completely understand.

So instead you have an opportunity to breathe, to lean into that opportunity to say ‘You know what?

I got time to think about some things -let me go do that. I wanted that job like two weeks ago or two months ago.’ Look at what is holding you back because there might be some answers to that. I am happy to set up a call and talk.
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