I recently read an article entitled “The Ten Worst Things About Job Hunting” (thanks for posting it, Donald Crews). If you are interested in the full posting the link is at the bottom of the page.
The list is really great. Job descriptions that don’t match the job. Online application systems. No contact from companies. On and On. Most of those “worst things” are outside your control. But there is at least one “worst thing about job hunting” that you have the power to control.
It was also the first “worst thing about job hunting” in the list:
“1. Contradictory advice. There’s loads of job-search advice on the Internet, and much of it is contradictory. Confused job-seekers are bombarded by rules that often conflict—from whether or not to use a resume objective, to whether to follow up on your application with a phone call, to how you should handle talking about a past firing. And most of this conflicting advice is presented as must-be-followed gospel.”
Here is my take on this very important subject – Advice.
Good advice depends on three things
This is not to say that getting advice is a bad thing to do. But advice depends on three things in order for it to be good for you. First is your knowledge, experience or awareness. Do you know anything about the subject? Are you placing the advice in context of a deep awareness of yourself? Is the advice tailored to you? Are you accepting the advice for other reasons (to be nice, out of desperation, because it sounds right, etc.)? The second thing is “consider the source“. Is the person giving the advice an expert? How much do they know about the subject? Do they really know you well enough to give you that advice?
For example, if someone gave you the advice to “race a marathon” next weekend, you would probably reject that advice. You have a sense of how torturous it would be to run 26 miles – especially if you had not trained. You have enough knowledge about a marathon. The other person may justify the advice with things like: “you look like a runner” or “you would be so proud of the accomplishment” or “you will enjoy being with a big crowd” or “Oprah did it, so can you”. But you are not buying that because you know a lot about yourself and the final outcome if you did try to run a marathon.
When we don’t know as much about the outcome, advice gets accepted more often
However, when it comes to things we do not know as much about the future outcome, the advice gets accepted more readily. When someone tells you to “add this to your resume” or “you need to go to these job boards and sign up” or “go to this-and-this-and-this-and-this networking event”, we generally accept that advice. We don’t know the outcome from that action and assume it is right or at least not harmful (“what have I got to lose?”). If that the person seems like an expert, or is a well-meaning person who “is nice” or they “heard it from a recruiter” or “has been job searching for a while”, we are more willing to accept the advice. We don’t pause to consider the source – however well meaning they are.
That leads to the third big dependency that is missing in all of this advice, context.
You are the context. You may not be ready for that advice. Perhaps you need time to really understand your career or life objectives. You may want to build awareness around what you want to do next. Getting dozens of e-mails with job postings may only serve to deflect you from spending your time wisely. Adding or subtracting some component of your resume may define your path before you are ready to make the journey. There is a lot of context that can influence the advice’s viability.
I am not suggestion you stall or delay. Don’t procrastinate. But purposeful movement might be the best course FOR YOU.
How a coach might be helpful to you
So when people ask why they should use a coach, the answer I would give is: being able to learn enough context to AVOID that first “worst thing” – Contradictory Advice. Most of us have the answer to our destiny within ourselves. Sometimes we need a coach to help us get at that awareness. Then we can start discerning about advice we receive.
Assisting others in gaining that awareness of self, that context, is one of the main reasons I chose to be a coach. A coach is generally very sparing in giving advice. That is different from a consultant, a mentor, or a specific subject matter expert who generally provide advice much quicker.
Best of luck in thinking about this advice!!!!!
Here is the original article link: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/04/23/the-10-worst-things-about-job-hunting