While it’s too early to predict whether 2011 is going to be a “bear” or a “bull” market in terms of the job landscape, I’m encouraged by several clients of mine who have already reported landing new positions over these past few weeks.
One of these transitions, in fact, relates to an article I wrote back in November, discussing the “Springboard Technique” that I recommend for helping people generate some fresh new leads in cases where they’ve just, unfortunately, been turned down for an opportunity. If you click the link above, and scroll down to the part near the end of the article where it discusses the woman who was seeking a marketing job in the casino industry, I’m happy to report that this individual ended up receiving not one but TWO good offers last week as a result of following this approach — and has just accepted an assignment that she’s ecstatic about, as a result!
Additionally, I received the note below from an executive client of mine who has been out beating the bushes for approximately 18 months in order to find an opportunity worthy of his time and talents. Here are the details he invited me to pass along regarding his experience:
“Matt: Good news! I’m employed, quite gainfully…as it turns out. I appreciated your help and support during my search. I also appreciated the testimonials provided by some of your clients after they gained employment, since they helped remind me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. So I’d love to share my story, if that’s okay with you.
I started low level networking in May of 2009 as my employer started to wind down and shut down operations. I devoted 40-45 hours per week to my job search starting November 1, 2009. I submitted at least 150 resumes on-line and a few in person, resulting in 3 phone interviews and 1 job offer; that job required full time travel and paid half of my target salary so I declined. I was the #2 choice in 3 other situations, each created through networking. I had 12 other informal interviews for un-published positions, exploring fit and capabilities, none of which resulted in offers to me, and only 3 resulting in offers to anyone. Starting in August 2009, I created a Linkedin profile from scratch, and populated it with 170 connections – most of whom I met with personally – over the intervening 12 months. I attended over 50 networking sessions, with Career Horizons, Kiros, NWEN, PSBJ events, and many others. I arranged more than 120 in-person coffee meetings over 8 months, networking and ‘getting out there’, with the (secondary) goal of each meeting being to line up at least 1 new contact and get an introduction. I created a web-site and monthly blog in my area of expertise. I started an ACT database to follow up on the networking contacts I had made, and because of my ‘many hats and hard to define’ background I possess, I created at least 40 variations on my resume targeted at specific positions.
Nearly all the people I met with and spoke to were extraordinarily supportive and helpful, and more than willing to extend themselves to help me in whatever way they could. As you have said over and over, networking and personal relationships are the key – but the daily slogging through the internet and other job sources has to be done also. There were a lot of jobs out there, but very few that I fit into, given my compensation target and the many hats I’ve worn. In conclusion, thank you again, Matt, for your help and support. If I can help you or your clients in any way, let me know!”
Again, while everybody’s journey is going to be slightly different out there, I always appreciate those people who are willing to give back in this manner and share their encouraging news — in addition to passing along the lessons they learned along the way in terms of what worked, and what didn’t, regarding their search efforts.
In this particular case, I think there are a few key takeaways. First, the fact that this individual tracked his marketing efforts so carefully is a wonderful thing, since it allowed him (just like a company) to evaluate what activities were providing the best ROI in terms of his time and which ones were proving less fruitful. Secondly, you can also immediately tell that this person treated finding a job as his highest priority and put a significant amount of time (40-45 hours a week) into making it happen. For those folks who still don’t think there are 40 hours of productive things they can do, each week, to help create opportunities for themselves, this story is evidence to the contrary. And lastly, I think this story reinforces the sobering reality that senior-level job opportunities are still extremely hard to come by at the moment — and that it is usually takes a serious amount of focus, gumption, and fighting spirit to beat out the competition.
So thanks to this most recent “alumnus” of mine for allowing me to post the details of his newly-concluded search — and as always, as the rest of you find your path to success out there, please let me know if you have any great tips or words of wisdom to pass along!