Stay Hungry: 6 Ways To Make It Through The Necessary Evil Of Looking For A New Career
Never will society more resemble a lawless herd of evil warthogs, like when you are 20-something and looking for a new career. The twisted mechanisms of our modern society will become clear as day to you.
You will say to yourself, “Perhaps the best and the only thing to do is to pack up and build an Apocalypse shelter in the wilderness. Because someone surely is coming for us to wipe out this Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Before you stick branches in your hair for camouflage and go for the woods in a zigzag line, read this. There are things you can do to help yourself through the necessary evil of looking for a new career.
If you are not looking for another short-term solution, don’t call it a job.
See what I did there? I called it your new career. You are 20-something. You have had internships and, probably, have or had full-time employment.
If you are reading this, you have access to the Internet, and hence, the whole world. A job is a short-term solution. A job sounds desperate and, ultimately, is disappointing, like the situation of the dude who wanted to get laid, but got a hand job, instead.
You deserve a career; a career is an opportunity for both you and your future employer to achieve something you both are proud of.
Put heart in your career search, but not all of it.
If you are employed, be good at what you do. If you are not, find a project; volunteer; work on your future business plan; do something that you are good at. Having an activity to put your heart into will help you remember you are good at things. There will be times when you will forget it and give in to misery.
A side project will ease the anxiety, give you a focus and the confidence you need to land a worthy career. Besides, people find their career paths often in the most unexpected ways, and your little project might end up surprising you.
Give your PJs a night off and meet real people, instead.
Don’t let the walls of your room start closing in; occupy a coffee shop and work from there. Be around people with aspirations, who feel that the city is alive and has opportunities. Doing work outside your bedroom will also force you to dress better.
You won’t believe what wonders getting out of pajamas and into an “outfit” will do for your confidence. Meet new people; join a language class, a drama club, an outdoor adventure club or volunteer to take a friend's dog to the park.
Then, be shameless and ask your new acquaintances to give you professional introductions, if they can. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone who has ever had to carve out his or her own career knows how tough it is out there. Just be nice about it, and don’t take the help for granted.
Invest in the relationship and research the sh*t out of it.
Anxiety might cause you to have the clicking finger syndrome that makes you apply for everything and anything. Tie that bastard down and invest time in carefully selecting what you apply for.
Yes, the rejection will hurt more, but the success rate is higher. It might seem like a no-brainer, but go a bit deeper than what you simply think you qualify for, and you could be surprised.
Research the company, management and the industry to find an edge. Do you think the particular market has a potential to expand to Asia, and you have lived there? Have you and your future boss both taken a student exchange year in the university?
Don’t stop there; instead of a cover letter, send a small project. For example, how would you market a product the company sells?
Feel the love; you are special.*
Your friends will remind you that you are extraordinary, and it is not for lack of good qualities that it is taking you time to find your dream career.
That might not sound very comforting, since we live in an era of global attention deficit, but it does happen when you apply thoughtfully. When it does, it will be the easiest interview of your life. It won't feel like an interrogation, but a conversation between two passionate people about something they are really into.
Everyone in this world is busy. When you sense the right opportunity is at your fingertips, hunt it down with all you have. After hiring me, my previous boss thanked me politely for calling him for two weeks straight -- with the persistence of a fungus -- until he found the time to meet me.
You can do it -- yes, you can!
Don’t wonder if you are good enough. Yes, you might have spent last Sunday sorting through your underwear, wondering which ones are too disreputable to wear and which ones still have a good half a year of life left in them. So what?
No big-time CEO has definite answers on how to make the business grow; no movie producer knows for sure if her or she will be a flop or a star. No one is certain of anything.
The ones who succeed are the ones who have endless curiosity, perseverance, stubbornness and passion.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It