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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Unlocking the Secret to Your Success Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker once said, "Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the numbers, in the right orders, so you can have anything you want." This could not be more true during your job search.

Over the past few weeks at various events, I have met some incredible people who found some interesting things to do with their time in transition that eventually turned into opportunities.

Joe was a help desk technician and had been working in the financial services industry for the past 25 years. He had all the important certifications and was always rated as an "A" performer. Joe also had a special knack of fixing the customer first, a skill he was taught early on in his career. But…Joe felt that something was missing. As much as he enjoyed working in financial services, he wished that he could work in an industry where he could make a difference everyday. He chose healthcare…but healthcare would not choose him.

As I'm sure you know well by now, certain industries look for candidates with experience in the same industry. As much as we think that HR is HR, finance is finance and IT is IT, many companies don't always agree. Joe sent out 25 resumes to hospitals and didn't receive one phone call.

Joe realized he needed to start thinking outside the box. He decided to volunteer at a hospital on the days that he was not interviewing or attending networking events. Slowly but surely, Joe developed connections without expecting anything in return. He simply met all of the hospital administrators while fixing their computers. Eventually Joe received an offer to return to financial services. When he mentioned that he would be leaving the hospital, the Chief Administrative Officer asked him not to. Suddenly, a position was created with Joe's name on it, much to his delight.

Another friend of mine, who I will call Ed, told a similar story. Ed was a marketing executive in the manufacturing industry until his position was eliminated right out from under him. To have a successful interview, a marketing professional must have confidence seeping out of each and every pore. But, Ed was lacking in that area due to the layoff. To build his confidence, Ed decided to take ballroom dancing lessons, not because this was something he always wanted to do, but because it was something he never thought he could master. You see…his friends teased him about his coordination and grace any time they saw him dance.

Ed took lessons three nights a week for several months along with a class of nine other people. Now, you're probably thinking that Ed landed a job because he was hired by someone taking the class, but as good of an ending as that would be, that is not what happened to Ed. Not only did he become a ballroom dancer, but his friends were envious as he waltzed around the room at weddings. He was exceptional and he far surpassed his own expectations. Ed told me that his newfound confidence in himself helped him become a much stronger interviewer as he started to believe and portray to hiring managers that no matter what the challenge, he could overcome in. Ed is now happily employed as a Director of Marketing in the manufacturing industry.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Unless you have psychic powers, you will not know what activities, events or connections will ultimately lead you to landing on your feet in your next job. Thinking way outside the box these days will suit you well, amidst all the competition. Get involved in activities that you enjoy and use sites like Meetup.com or Eventme.com to connect with other people that have similar interests. Each week, turn the dial on your life's combination lock to a new number, and eventually you with unlock the secret to your success.
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!