On Monday this week I posted part one of this series in which I was a tiny winy bit critical to all those “experts” who are trying to make the job-seeking process a type of science, not what it actually is; a relatively simple process. (https://erikfalkhanseniogs.com/2015/01/08/38695/) These so called experts unfortunately become more of a hindrance to job-seekers with their advice such as CV on 1 page / CV on 2 pages, picture on the CV / no picture on the CV, education first / work experience first, call before you send application / call after you have sent application, turn up 15 minutes before interview / turn up 5 minutes before interview, wipe your bum before an interview / don’t wipe your bum before the interview. You know what I mean.
What got me to write about all of this is what irritates me the most with these so called experts. They almost force you to not be yourself. This can be significant damaging for you as a job-seeker but also for the hiring company. It is nothing but a pile of rubbish.
Because of alle the rubbish we hear from these experts, I mentioned in part 1 that I have decided to try to stay away from giving advice that goes along the lines of do this and do that and then do this again. Instead, I tend to encourage people to be themselves throughout the job-seeking process. What I have decided to do however is to give people an insight into how I would go about things if I were in a position in which I was looking for a new job. This gives you the opportunity to perhaps pick up a few hints and tips that suit you but at the same time gives you the opportunity to ignore things that you are not comfortable with.
Providing you can remember that you should only take on board what actually suits you, then I would encourage you to continue reading this post. If you are looking to copy exactly how I would go about things then my advice to you would be to take a moment to yourself and come back when you realise that the most important thing to do when seeking a new job is to BE YOURSELF.
Does that sound OK to you? If yes, then here we og
Let`s assume that I would start my job-seeking process on a Sunday
The first thing I will be doing is to have a good think about what I really want to do and where I can best contribute. Due to the fact that I believe I know myself pretty damn well, this shouldn’t be a difficult task.
Morning: The first part I will spend creating a list of all relevant positions advertised on job boards and in other media, including positions advertised by recruitment companies. I also make sure that I only write down those positions that are of relevance to me and that are of interest to me. At the end of the day, I don’t want to waste my precious time applying for irrelevant positions.
Afternoon: During the afternoon I will create what I call a “market map” where I will be searching for companies that are of great interest and relevance to me and my background irrespective of whether these companies have any live positions or not. I am also making sure that I consider any type of companies without purely focusing on the large blue-chips that everyone knows about.
When the day is drawing to a close I will have a list of a high number of “leads” in the form of live positions or companies which I will contact speculatively. Hopefully, I will have reached my target of 20 live vacancies and 40 companies to contact speculatively. Just before I prepare a plate of cheese and crackers and a glass of Chardonnay and get ready to watch an episode of Big Brother, there is one more thing I need to do: create a spreadsheet that I can use as a kind of data-base and diary (see example below) during the whole job-seeking process. My kind of bible in other words.
Finally, it is time for 1 hour of my favourite TV Show, Big Brother. Who will be sleeping with who in this episode? The excitement is killing me.
Tuesday (Action time)
A new day and time for some action. Everything is under control; My mobile phone, my laptop and of course a large cup of coffee. Time to start the most important task or in other words, the warmest task, THE LIVE POSITIONS. One by one I am calling the contact person(s) for the positions in order to find out a bit more about the roles while at the time doing a bit of selling. Selling myself, that is easy. I decide to focus on one position at a time thus only moving on from company X to company Y once I have finished everything I had to do in terms of company X. This helps me to keep my focus. As I go along I am thorough in terms of updating my spreadsheet / bible and making sure that I forget any negative thoughts about not being able to pay next months` electricity bill and instead thinking about the holiday to Thailand that I will book once I have secured a new position.
The day is finally over. No Chardonnay or cheese and crackers tonight but one thing is for sure: A new episode of Big Brother. Who will make fools out of themselves tonight? I can`t bloody wait.
Wednesday (More action)
A new day and new opportunities. As always, I will start my day focusing on the most important tasks in hand which once again are the live positions or should I say those companies with live positions in which I did not manage to get hold of yesterday. I seem to have a bit of luck today and get hold of all the outstanding ones. Not bad but I suppose you create your own luck in the job-seeking game.
I finally move over to my list of for speculative contact. What I really like about this is the fact the actions and behaviour are pretty much the same as with applying for live jobs. I go by the principle of CALL, SEND AND TRACK. First of all, I decide to call the line managers and introduce myself and tell them a bit about my situation and my background. I also mention that I have read and heard a lot of positive things about the company and although they have no live positions I would very much be keen to set up a meeting with them. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, I say to myself to remain positive. Mentally I am convinced in my own head that my background and skills are so relevant to the company that they too will wish to meet with me, anything else and I might as well give up here and now. After each conversation I forward an email with a copy of my CV and tailor this based on the outcome of the conversation I have just had with the line manager.
It has been another long day and time for a quick trip to the pub for a pint or two of the black stuff from Ireland, but one thing is for sure; I will be back home by 21:00 for a new episode of Big Brother. Another hour with drunken idiots, arguments, crying, kissing and cavorting. I am in heaven.
I have decided to use colours in the spreadsheet to better get a view of where I am up to. Red means that it is a no, amber means that there may be an opportunity and green means that I have secured an interview. As you can also see, I have separated the live opportunities from the speculative opportunities just to have 100% control of things.
Thursday (Action and follow up)
I wake up feeling satisfied. I am now confident I have made enough approaches in order to secure some interviews and all that remains now is to wait. There is still a few things I need to follow up on but I complete this before it is 9.00 so not really much more I can do and time to take a day off. NO, OF COURSE NOT. Perhaps good old Dolly only worked from 9-5 on selected days but as a job-seeker it is not 9-5 for me, more like 9 – 8 it is and I mean every day of the week.
So what can I do then?
First and foremost, I decide to look for any new jobs that have been posted during the last few days and approach these in the same way I did earlier in the week. Once I have done so I decide to spend a few hours searching through LinkedIn to see if I can find some more relevant leads. The more I put in, the more I get out, I keep thinking as the day goes by before I can finally update my spreadsheet, shut down the computer and for a few hours only, I try to forget about anything to do with new job, application, CV and interviews.
Big day tonight in Big Brother, it is nominations day. Who will nominate who? I am weeing myself with anticipation.
Friday (Even though it is Friday, full focus is needed)
I decide to have a day similar to that of yesterday. Look for new jobs and leads and follow up where I need to. I find it hard to concentrate. At the end of the day, tonight is the big night in Big Brother, eviction night, but I manage to stay calm and focused.
It has finally arrived. Eviction night on Big Brother. What a night I have in front of me. Even better, the weekend is here and even a job-seeker should be allowed to enjoy the weekend.
If you wouldn`t mind leaving a comment and / or rate this post that would be much appreciated
4 thoughts on “Part 2: Looking for a job? It is not rocket science”
Like your comments a lot and some good advice. A lot of which I will have to do soon. I would like an O &G job but all I run into is must have ‘x’ years of experience or must have offshore experience! Surely people in oil industry now didn’t have that experience before they started. To me the skills I have are transferable.
Thank you for the thoughtful, yet entertaining, post! Not a fan of the ‘Big Brother’ series (is that still on?), but I get the point of making time for other things as well.
fantastic insight. Cheers
Erik, you’re a breath of fresh air, this is a great blog