By Mary Ann Faremouth,
Have you ever been on a mission to find something important to you only to find something else? You may have taken yourself in a totally different direction. I think the word used to describe that experience is called “Serendipity.”
That happened to me just the other day when I was looking for a picture that was taken many years ago with a particular significance to me. While looking through all the photos from years gone by that were nestled down in old boxes, many tattered and torn, I came upon something else I was not looking for. I found a picture of me landing a 100-pound tuna on a deep-sea fishing trip in Hawaii. I never did find the one I was originally searching for, but when I found the image of this huge fish, it really didn’t seem to matter.
As I looked at this photograph, the wheels began to turn in my head. It brought back many memories of traveling to a new place. I had never been to Hawaii and I was trying my hand at a new experience. Deep sea fishing was not something I had ever done and landing this huge catch was a thrill like none other.
I reflected back on how the employment market in these very different times might have some strong correlations to how this fishing experience was so different for me. We are all on a new journey of sorts, traveling to a somewhat foreign land as the New Work World is very different these days. We are all quite ready, I believe, to land that “big catch,” whether it be finding that right job or hiring that right employee.
I believe it all starts with the right mindset and being open to the new journey. I remember having my own apprehensions about deep sea fishing. That particular day in Hawaii, the water was a bit rocky on the boat and fishing had never really been a big passion of mine. I was with people that had much more skill and I wanted to take a chance and see what would come of it. Just like in the job market, we tend to do what is familiar to us. I know that had I not gone ahead and put my fears to rest on that fishing trip, I would never be looking at this picture today with a big smile on my face. I’m now able to reflect back at how trying something new landed me such a great catch!
Let’s investigate five ways of finding a job that might be like deep sea fishing in the New Work World!
1. You Need the Right Bait!
I remember my friends on the boat telling me that we had to have the right bait to catch the big fish. How true is that now in our job search? What we need these days has to be much different, too. If we are an employee looking for a job, make sure your LinkedIn profile is very professional, up to date, streamlined and written well with a professional picture at the top. Any relevant references included in the profile might also glean interest from prospective employers. We have to evaluate our social media profiles for professional presentation, non-offensive pictures and quotes. The resume has to reflect the right key words and our cover letter should speak to why we are a good match for the position to which we are applying. We might have to cast our line into “new waters” if our industry might not be hiring and make the necessary networking contacts to increase our odds of getting interviews. If we are an employer looking to hire, we have to align ourselves with people who may facilitate our search to maximize results, not taking us away from other important tasks by going through hundreds of resumes. Employers of the New Work World must search in the right spots for the right candidates to “bite” and do the necessary background checks or work with professionals who can assist in this process. They also need to make sure the skill sets they are seeking are necessary for the position to be executed or if the right attitude with a related skillset would also work.
2. Have an Attitude of Serendipity
There are those times in our life that we need to be open to the chance events that might take place. Think about when you had to “change direction” or move to a different spot before a new job or opportunity showed itself. I remember on that fishing trip we had to move the boat to different areas many times because the fish were not biting. The same is true in finding your dream job or that right applicant. Submitting a few resumes a week may not get you the results you need for interviews. Interviewing online might make you consider getting the right lighting, background or microphone to present yourself in the best possible light. If you are an employer, consider changing certain educational or experience requirements to consider hiring a candidate from a different industry background where transferrable skills might apply and not require the higher salary previously offered.
3. Diversify Your Approach
That day in Hawaii I remember the captain giving us all different directives during our fishing trip. We used a combination of various bait, moving the boat, going far out and coming in closer to shore. If you are a job seeker, only submitting your current resume to online job boards won’t yield the results it did in Pre-Covid times. You may need a combination of a newly written resume or more than one in addition to networking, reaching out to friends and family for contacts that could open up new doors. Consider joining professional organizations like Toastmasters or Rotary, or taking online classes to gain new software proficiency that is more in demand. Employers might need to take a more team-oriented approach to hiring these days to get the support and training directives from other department heads or more senior tenured employees. More involvement with current employees in the training process may gain more of a sense of community. Perhaps a flexible attitude to coming into the office and working from home will foster better morale and teamwork necessary in the New Work World.
4. Seek Out Your Captain
On that fishing trip in Hawaii, the captain was very involved with the people on the boat. He gave us all tips that would allow us to streamline our process to enhance our success of landing the “big catch.” Whether you are a job seeker or an employer, finding a career coach, consultant or advisor might allow you to get better results with less frustration and time wasted. Career consultants can advise on a different strategy you had not thought of or utilized in the New Work World that could expedite your actions and allow your own “big catch” more quickly and allow you to revel in the joy that is in better alignment with the goals you had in mind.
5. After You Get a Bite You Still Need to Land It
I will never forget getting a tug on my line from that huge 100 lb. tuna! Other people on the boat had to help bring in that ‘big catch.” If I would have used the same strategy as in a local lake or river, it would have for sure gotten away. The same concept applies if you get through that first interview online or in person. Make sure you call your references before you give the names to the hiring authority so they understand they might be called. There is nothing worse than a prospective employer calling a reference and not hearing back. I have had employers tell me that could be a “red flag” and they asked me to stop the process on a particular candidate in lieu of others. Send a thank-you note to the company in a reasonable amount of time. In these competitive times, do a 30-60-90-day plan on the second interview or do extensive research on the company before you meet other people in the interview process. Being able to talk in a knowledgeable manner about past or future events or industry markers can help you get an offer.
You can get your own “big catch” in the New Work World and have your own exciting fishing expedition if you change up your journey and sail your own career boat in a new direction. Sometimes when we are looking for one thing, we can find something different and much better by shifting our thinking and mindset. Maybe with that new great job a trip to Hawaii can be on your bucket list in the near future to celebrate your success!
Our new book, Revolutionary Reinvention, and ongoing workshops may be helpful to you in 2021 to create your own big catch and move forward in a way that might secure your success! When you combine a solid plan of action and a positive mindset, knowing what you want and how you are going to achieve it, your ability to create it makes all the difference in your success.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.