August 19, 2016
by David Baron
Take a vacation! Nothing is more tiring than job hunting while having a day-job. It’s disruptive to your current employer because you have slip out of the office in the middle of the day. And you have perform at work and during the interviews, which can put a mental strain which will affect both your current day-job and your job hunting process.
So take a vacation if you can, hunt with time and focus on your side. At the same time you’re staying respectful to your current employer.
Note everything! It’s important to keep a journal while you’re job hunting, you must maintain perspective and history, on yourself and the companies you have visited.
Feel it out! If something feels wrong, then there’s something wrong! Sadly the typical interview process doesn’t let you much time to get to know the company or the people behind it so without complete information, you must rely on your instincts for a major part of your decision making.
Stay cool! That’s might seem like a contraction to my previous comment but it’s not. The entire talent acquisition and recruitment industry is very cut-throat. It’s a very expensive process for companies, so it’s not the “fun” part of a running a business, it’s extremely stressful and risky for all parties involved. Taking that in consideration, you have to understand that you must be the one that stays in control of the process because potential employers or recruiters might not be able to.
Always remember, they just want to get you out or in the door as fast as possible and at the cheapest price! So during that process, don’t think like an employee, think like a business man, you’re selling your must valuable product, you’re time, skills and knowledge!
Stay human! Don’t lose sight of your humanity in the process, job hunting is one of the most difficult and sometimes the coldest aspects of professional life. You might end up feeling like a “piece of meat” or be constantly destroyed by rejection. But never forget to forgive yourself and those involved, they just trying to survive the best they can as you do.
You have to understand also that the ultimate goal of HR is to reduce you to a stat for they reports and that recruiters live or die by their margins. So for most, it’s a game of numbers, not really people. At the end of the day, you will become just a stat so don’t let the job hunting process define you beyond what it is, a poker game!
Go full pro! Tech recruiters have the bad reputation of being the less professional people that you will have to deal with in business. Most are very good but like anything in life, you will have to deal sometimes with some bad apples, the best response to unprofessional behavior is to maintain professionalism, don’t let them lower your bar. But at the same time, don’t try to reason with the unreasonable, you will end up in a loop of frustration.
Walk away! It’s not really the jobs that you take that will determine the quality of your career but those that you refuse. There’s nothing more unprofessional and destructive to one’s career than accepting a job that you have doubts about or don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s extremely irresponsible to your new employer and to yourself. Trust me, you don’t burn bridges by refusing job offers, you burn them by taking them and then regretting your decisions afterwards. If something doesn’t feel right to you, end the process as soon as possible, don’t waste anyone’s time, don’t forget interviews are done within business hours, so somebody is paying for this.
Observe! Details, details and more details that’s the secret to great job hunting. You must observe everything, read between the lines of the job post, analyze the history of the company your applying to, including it’s current position in the market.
During the interview, look at every detail …
- How everybody is dressed?
- Do they look stressed, tired or energized and inspired?
- Are they hiding something or telling you too much?
- What are the dynamics between the people in the room, any tension?
But don’t get distracted by the positive or the flashy, keep an eye out equally for the negative and be honest with yourself at every level, if you didn’t perform well, then admit it, correct it for the next one but never blame anyone, in the interviewer context, they the customer so they’re always right even when they might be wrong!
Just make sure that when you leave the meeting room, you have a clearer picture of the company’s culture, the requirements of the position and most importantly, is it a trap or a career gold mine?