40 reasons to NOT get a job

  1. you get to hang around coffee shops and pretend your busy and employed
  2. you can become a “consultant”
  3. you can live the 4 hour work week
  4. any time is happy hour
  5. bail-out shmailout, sheesh
  6. two words – unemployment check
  7. you get to waste your and everybody else time on facebook and every other social media apps
  8. you can challenge ashton and oprah to be the first to 2m followers.
  9. you get to rearrange your home office each week.
  10. you don’t have to hide the amount of time you spend on ebay and perezhilton.com
  11. your home office internet doesn’t block porn web-sites
  12. you can become an expert online 5 card stud player
  13. traffic reports make you laugh
  14. you can use the coffee stains on your t-shirt as your Warshak Test to make sure you’re  still sane
  15. floor clothes are as good as fresly laundered clothes
  16. you only need to change your wordrobe once a week
  17. you get take advantage of the early bird specials at restaurants
  18. you get to design your own business cards
  19. you can take a cross country trip using Google street view
  20. you can finally get caught up on all those back issues of the economist
  21. you complete Wrath of the Lich King in WOW
  22. you finally get to figure out how to set the timer on your vcr
  23. you realize vcr’s have been replaced with dvd’s
  24. you also realize dvd’s have been replaced with dvr’s
  25. you finally get to catch those missed General Hospital episodes
  26. you don’t have to pay into your 401k to watch it shrink
  27. no forced stock buy’s
  28. you invent 30 new ways to eat Ramen Noodles
  29. you finally have the time to catch up on work emails
  30. no more TPS reports
  31. you create a life-size replica of the “Death Star” out of Lego
  32. no more killing-off fictitious relatives to get a day off work
  33. you become an expert about where everything is at Ikea and the Home Depot
  34. you plan your meals around the free samples at Costco
  35. Nooner
  36. you provide a public service by responding to every deposed Nigerian king’s email
  37. you have to oil your Wii regularly
  38. you have to think of new and creative reasons not to go to the gym
  39. you send so many funny links, pics and videos to your friends, yahoo flags you as a spammer
  40. you now have plenty of time to follow and find out what all those other people who wander around aimlessly during the day are doing

Tearing Down The Walls: An Introduction to the Process-Based Job-Search

What is the process-based job-search in a nutshell?

The process-based job-search is simply a job-search with a plan and structure.

Why does anyone need a process-based job-search?

Most people don’t know how to run a highly-effective job-search – they have no plan – and without a plan they will waste a lot of time. Continue reading

How to Overcome Job-Search Failure (and Depression)

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Being in a job search sucks is no fun – and people can get really depressed.

The issue is that most people view the job-search in two phases:

1) you are looking and

2) you have found a job

Well, if (2) is success then the common thinking is that (1) is failure.

We look at ourselves as failures because we have no perspective.  We have no perspective because we have no measurable road-map to track our progress.

An analogy:

You need to get to Las Vegas from Boston.

Are you a failure if you are between Vegas and Boston?

Most people would say ‘no’ with the assumption that you have made progress toward Vegas.   If you know where you currently are, and have a map, then you can see that you have made progress in closing the distance between yourself and Vegas.

Now consider the example above but you didn’t have a map.  Well, you know that Vegas is ‘West’.  So you head ‘west’ for a few days and determine that you are neither in Boston nor Vegas.

Are you a failure?  This is a more difficult question to answer because you can’t really say that you have made progress, you think and hope that you have, but without a map, getting to Vegas will require a lot of luck.    So you continue to head west, but the longer you head west, the more the temptation to view yourself as a failure because you can’t measure any progress.

Without a map (or plan) most people can’t measure progress in the job-search because they have no reference point and no process to trust.  There is a goal and a bunch of stuff  ‘you should do’ to find a job but no real plan or process.

Will developing a plan and a process help you track progress?  Yes

Will tracking progress help you perform a better job-search?  Yes

But 99.999% of the people I have spoken with (job-seekers) do not have a plan or process.  They are content to ‘do stuff’ day in/day out in the hopes of finding a job.   Considering how important a job is to many folks, isnt’ it strange that they don’t plan better?

Do you have a plan?  I’d love to hear about it.

Get a life – not a job

Lauren Sherman’s article at Forbes about the Worlds Happiest Places (from an OECD report) has a very interesting list of the top ten places where people feel most content with their lives.

Unfortunately the US didn’t make it into the list.

According to the survey wealth isn’t a predictor of happiness, but not having a job (no/decreasing wealth or money worries) is a dissatisfier. And working harder and longer isn’t as rewarding as limiting your working time and enjoying family, social and community networks.

So what’s my advice from all of this? and moving to one of the top ten countries is not it!.

I’d suggest (if you dare!),  find a job that pays reasonably well, but gives you enough time to have a life.

Good hunting and live happier !

Simon

Slow/Stalled Job-Search? The Answer is Simple (but most people don’t realize it)

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The economy sucks.

There are a lot of people unemployed.

It is the summer.

While all of the above are true the CAN NOT justify a slow/stalled search.  I have spoken with hundreds of job-seekers and there is one common thread with people who say that their search has stalled.   The thing that these (and most job-searchers) have in common is:

there is no plan

Quite simply put,  most people do not know how to effectively run a job-search.

Of course, many of you reading will say “that’s stupid, I have a plan”, but do you really have a plan?  How do you measure progress with your plan?  How do you set goals with your plan.

Most people don’t – their definition of the “job-search process” is a set of  loosely linked activities, more specifically, the process is usually described as:

“I write a resume and cover letter, post the resume on all the major and niche job-boards, then I search the job listings.”

The problem is, without a process you can follow, you are basing your search more on luck than anything else.    Still don’t believe me?

Here is another analogy.  You have two friends that want to lose 40 pounds (say to lower their high blood pressure that is a result of a long job search).

You have to bet which one will lose the weight in two months.

You ask both of them to describe their plan/process.

Friend 1 says “I need to exercise more and eat less bad food, so I will join a gym and workout until I lose that 40 pounds”.

Friend 2 says “I need to exercise more and eat less bad food, so I have created a week-by week plan for the two months with weekly goals and I will also track my calories and find a gym that will help me develop a plan to help lose the weight”.

Now which one would you bet on?

What if the bet were now $10,000?

Why $10,000?  Well if you make $60K a year then two months salary is worth roughly $10,000.   So if you are out of work for two months, the opportunity cost (what you would have been paid if you were working) is $10,000.

Now who would you bet on?

If you were honest, you would bet on Friend 2.  Why?  Because he has a plan and a process to lose the weight that is measurable, while Friend 1 has a very-high-level approach.

Unfortunately, 99% of the folks I speak with are much more like Friend 1 than Friend 2 in their job-search.

In this environment simply ‘working harder’ is not enough, you must work smarter, and working smarter means a detailed job-search plan/process.

Still think that detailing out the process is ‘overkill’?

Are you serious about your search or are you really faking-it and kidding-yourself?

Finding a job is tough enough but adding the current economy into the picture and the large number of unemployed looking, you have to be serious about your search.  And if you are serious you need a detailed plan and process.

Of course you could simply waste time writing and re-writing your resume or spend hours/days/weeks searching the job-boards.  That’s what most people are doing.

What are you doing?

What’s the worst that can happen?

For those who follow my posts, will already know I’m a massive fan of the TED videos (would love to get an invite to attend in person – hint hint).

I was catching up on some I’d missed and came across Tim Ferriss’ video. IF you’ve read Tim’s book 4-hour work week,  there’s a self-assurance that he has that can come across as being arrogance, at least that’s how I felt about it.

But that’s not what this post is about, if you watch Tim’s video, towards the end he announces ‘quietly’ a little secret of his (as he’s regaling his swimming project); and it’s this that caught my ear. When he’s setting about doing a project or overcoming some issue, he starts with “What’s the worst that can happen?“.

Then it struck me, what a great approach. Tim figured out that most of the reason why he’s not good at something yet! is that he’s not figured it out (he looks at things like an engineer would – that’s just his way!). But before he can launch into that he has to get over his own limiting beliefs or fears or whatever else that’s stopping him and here’s where the what’s the worst thing that can happen becomes a really powerful question to ask yourself, and also to spend the time an honesty answering.

So  I figured if it’s good enough for Tim, then It’s good enough for me. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon actually doing this exercise, and came up with these steps:

Here’s are my steps and how you can approach this:

  1. First give yourself some space and time, an hour or so, and with pen and paper.
  2. Make a quick list of the things you think you should be doing, but are procrastinating about, or really don’t want to do for some reason. You may want to write about more than one thing, but for this step just list them.
  3. Now choose one of them to write about.
  4. Next write down the first reason that comes to your mind about why you won’t do it.
  5. Then, and this is the powerful part, ask yourself: “so “What’s the worst that can happen” .
  6. Write down the worst thing and ask yourself how likely is this and what will you probably do to stop it, or avoid it?
  7. Keep repeating this until you completely run out of can’t/won’t do reasons, and your rational responses.

Go ahead – try it, you’ll be surprised how easy your reasons “not-to” will come flowing out, as well as your rational responses.

Now go ahead,  set a date and time to start doing it, you know what they say, half the work is in starting….

Good hunting

Simon

“Finding a job” – it’s much more work than a regular job (Job-Search Tip)

I often hear people say that “a job search should be treated as a ‘job'”.  What I think that means is that you should spend the time/effort on your search as if you were at a ‘regular job’.    Unfortunately, searching for a job is more work than a regular job.  With a regular job often you can simply “show up” and get paid, but for a job-search if YOU don’t do it no-one will.   So thinking that you will keep the same routine/effort that you would in a regular job is both incorrect and dangerous.    It is dangerous because you have work-habits that you have developed as you have been employed.  Unfortunately, for many, these habits will actually make the job-search much slower and more complicated.

The correct analogy would be “a job-search is like running a sole-propritership”.  If you are running your own company with one employee (you), then you are responsible for everything – more specificly, for results.  If you don’t do a task, then it doesn’t get done.  If you don’t lay the groundwork for success in the future, then your success will be based on luck.

Do you want your job-search based on luck?

Job search tip: Don’t hoard jobs, take action or delete.

Have you noticed how easy it is to accumulate job leads? You scour the job boards and aggregators, save some to review later, apply to a bunch, some you may hear from other you’re still waiting. It doesn’t take  long before the whole list becomes too long to fathom.

So here’s a weekly exercise you can do.

Take a look at your saved jobs, (using VirtualJobCoach to store track and organize them obviously!) and decide what the next action your going to take will be:

Can you contact the hiring manager, HR department or someone at the company or recruiter, to get an update or just introduce yourself.

Have you gone through your list of contacts to see if someone you know works there, or may know someone who works there.

Take a look at your linkedin or facebook or other social network site for connection?

What about sending your resume and cover letter again?

Whatever you decide to do make a reminder note for yourself (yes in VirtualJobCoach) and move onto the next item.

Sure you’ll find some fantastic jobs you’ve saved, but hey if you haven’t heard anything for a while, and you can’t think of a next action,  then keeping it in the queue only clutters up your space. So go ahead, delete it.  Or at least move it to the “closed out” folder, with a reminder to delete it in a month.

Good hunting

Simon