Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is Your Job Search Routine?

Most people got up today thinking that it is just a normal day. Not me, though. I stayed awake until 3am watching my San Francisco 49ers beat the New Orleans Saints in a playoff game (American football for those who don’t know). What an awesome finish, the Niners got a touchdown with nine seconds left to win! So, I am especially tired, but today is a great day, not merely regular.

As a sports fan, I am by definition filled with routines; some call them superstitions. When something works previously, I stick with it. About one year and a half ago, the San Francisco Giants (baseball) were two (series) wins away from winning a championship, something that hadn’t occurred in my lifetime (and I am almost 50), so I incorporated them into my Employment in Israel article: Loyalty at Work. They ended up surprising everyone, especially San Francisco fans, by winning the World Series. So, now that the 49ers are two wins away, and I feel that their fate somehow rests within my fingertips, I have the responsibility to help push them over the top.

If you are not a sports fan, you might want to skip the next paragraph.

Actually, I am somehow feeling less nostalgic writing this article than the previous one in this series. One year and a half ago, there had been no championship for any of the Big Three of San Francisco sports in more than 30 years, and the Giants themselves hadn’t won since 1954, before I was born and before they were even playing in San Francisco. Even more importantly, after being removed from US sports since the time I made aliyah in the 1994, I reconnected to something that was almost a matter of life and death for me when I was younger. So, it was a kind of coming out party for me – I was confident enough being an Israeli to become overtly American again (not that my accent when I speak Hebrew fools anyone). Some of those components are missing this time. However, there is a big positive now. Previously I had no way to watch the games; last night I used a free website that shows the games live. Lack of sleep is a small price to pay for being able to see the action rather than just reading about it. The next improvement will be to find other San Francisco sports fans in Israel and watch together in a place where I can yell when they score, rather than restrain myself so that I don’t wake up my wife and kids.

Routines like this are building blocks in the construction of our everyday lives. In this particular case, the events themselves that make up my routine are spread apart by many months, so it is difficult to see the pattern without me hitting you over the head with it. However, the big and little things we do automatically each day without thinking about them comprise a large portion in all of our daily activities.

This seems to be especially true for those searching for work. The question is, does your routine make sense – is it the correct way to go about securing your next employment? Well, of course that depends upon what your objective is, and what you are doing to realize it. However, all job seekers should be “routinely” asking themselves these questions:
  • Is your routine in tune with the realities of the 2012, or are you using what worked for you previously, before social media became so prominent in the majority of effective job searches, or before you moved to Israel? 
  • Are you using resources (websites/placement companies) that someone recommended to you, even though their career objectives and yours are very different? 
  • Are you focusing most of your time using job websites for your next opportunity? From what I understand after speaking with numerous job seekers, this is the routine for many people. In my opinion, this is THE number one reason why people become frustrated with job searches. Certainly people do get jobs they apply to from websites, but the majority of people working today did NOT find their job from a website. Two-thirds of all jobs are never publicly advertised, so spending so much time on job sites guarantees that you will never even be aware of the majority of available jobs. Networking is the single best investment of your time when seeking work: Employment Networking - Getting to the Other Two Thirds of the Jobs.
So, we will all know soon if my routine that began with the SF Giants will carry over to celebrating a Super Bowl victory for the 49ers. For job seekers, results of your routine usually cannot be discerned so quickly and clearly, but nonetheless, they are much more tangible to achieving your objectives than mine are.

Or maybe not…

Go Niners!

And yes, if things go according to plan, in the very near future I will be writing my third installment in the San Francisco Sports trilogy, Ode to the (Golden State) Warriors. Maybe if they sign Omri Caspi, everything will turn out good!

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