A Fundamental Truth

by on April 12, 2017

A Fundamental Truth

Bored people waitingOne of the things that can frustrate me when I meet someone for the first time who is in job search is when they ask me, “Can you help me to find a job quickly?” One of my fellow colleagues has a short answer for that, “Yes, I heard McDonalds is hiring.” And, usually when the person gives an annoyed look and says, “No I don’t mean that!”, I sigh, somewhat depressed, knowing that this individual is not prepared for what job search is all about.

Yes, I do get it, that being out of work is a very stressful time. There are bills to pay, the perceptions of others around you about you’re not working to deal with and frankly the feeling of rejection that no one wants you. However, I have also learned a few things about the job search process these last seven years. Unless one is very fortunate, the search process is likely going to take months, not weeks. In fact, the more advanced your field, the higher the salary, usually the longer the search. Therefore, the ones who navigate the process best pick up on the fact that it is indeed a process, a research process, and devote themselves to gaining an understanding what that research process involves. In short, they learn the fundamentals to what the hiring process is all about.

In searching for the monthly quote that is featured on my website, I was looking for something on fundamentals that “connected with me”. And, then I found it. This quote from Michael Jordan said it the best: “Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”

One often hears about grasping and practicing the fundamentals in relation to either sports heroes or entertainment stars. When Tiger Woods was the best player in his sport, there were articles on how he would practice his swing over and over again, until it was the same every time. Professional singers look to do some singing and breathing exercises each day even when they don’t have an upcoming performance for a few days or weeks. Michael Jordan himself is often remembered for hitting game winning shots over and over again. However, he just didn’t hit those shots at the end of games, but in constant hours during practice or even in shooting by himself.

A common theme in the examples above are that those who devoted the effort to getting down the basics of their craft, had a passion for it. In addition, they saw it as a life time vocation or a career process in its entirety, and not just a set of things to do just for a short period of time. While they always might not be able to succeed each and every time that they performed their craft (Tiger Woods did lose golf tournaments, Michael Jordan did actually miss some game winning shots), they didn’t leave themselves in the position of feeling that they had not done all they could to put themselves in the best position to succeed.

While I do meet those that bemoan the steps that are recommended as part of job search, I also fortunately get to see the other side of the equation. There are those who will look to work for me who will ask for recommendations and guidance. They will avail themselves of my listening ear when they face a situation with a new contact or opportunity. Additionally, they will realize that not everything we discuss will work out 100% the way they hope. Sometimes there is not an opportunity available at this time. The other person, is just not interested in helping. Or a relationship which ultimately will flourish is actually built several months before, and then the opportunity comes true. However, in the interim, they have continued to work the job search process fundamentals that they have learned along the way.

One final thought. Michael Jordan could have stopped working the fundamentals of his sport the minute he made it to the National Basketball Association, or won his first professional championship. But, he chose not to. He realized that he wanted to continue to succeed in his chosen profession. The clients and acquaintances I find that work the fundamentals of the job search process best, I still see practicing them even after they land a job they pursued. They help others in their search. They stay open to connecting with others. They continue to work the basics so they are already at the level they need to be if they find themselves seeking that next great opportunity again.

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