Why your ‘need’ of a job is getting in the way of actually getting a job.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job SearchNetworking
I was riding my bike this morning when I passed a handwritten sign. It said “Car Painter Needs Work” and listed a phone number. My initial thought was “So what?” Then I thought, well if this guy really needs work, it probably doesn’t behoove him to plaster his sign on a 4-lane divided roadway where the speed limit is 50mph and the nearest traffic light is about a mile away. I mean, if he was serious, he should put his sign where people stop so they can actually take the phone number down. But more importantly, just because this painter needs work doesn’t mean I should give him any. Does it? I mean, why is it my job to find him work? Why is it my job to put him to work? Oh, that’s right. Because he “needs” it. Of course.
Essentially, this guy is in a job search. And it got me thinking about others in the job search. Why should we hire you? Because you need a job? That’s not a good answer. Too many times, people “apply” for the wrong job at the wrong time with the wrong company because they “need” one. And then they wonder why they don’t get one.
My friend, Tim, recently showed me a job description of an executive-level position he thought he should apply for. I looked at it. Looked at him. Looked at it. Looked at him. Looked at it. And then asked him “Other than the word ‘executive’ in the title, what about this position makes you the right person for the job?”
“Well, it’s with one of my target companies,” he said.
Great. That’s it? That’s why you were going to waste your time on this? Hmmm. Not the best use of your time. Not the best use of their time.
And people out of work wonder why no one responds to them when they apply online?
I’ll tell you why. They’re overrun by too many people who “need” a job. Too many people who don’t take the time to really determine what value they bring to the table. And you may be saying “Wait, that’s not me! I ONLY apply to things where I’m a perfect fit.” That’s great, but it’s too late. It’s too late because everybody else ruined it for you. They’re creating so much clutter that you’re lucky if you ever get through (and I mean really lucky!).
So now what do you do? You go back to what works. And here’s what will work. You need to target your market, and find a referral into that company. You need to focus on their needs. You need to better understand them before you have any right to talk about what you could do for them. Because, the reality is, you don’t know. You never really know until you have a conversation.
So back to the painter. Maybe he should have done the same thing. Maybe he should have thought about his target market. He should focus on the people who know people who actually need their cars painted. Perhaps he should network with body shops or collision repair shops. Maybe he should set up a deal with Jiffy Lube or Discount Tire… or some other service that says “I’m not buying a new car… but I’m taking care of the one I have right now.”
And, if he really wants to have a sign, he might want to put it right next to a car dealer… to entice someone to fix up instead of buy new – and say something like “Make your car look new again!” That’s a lot more targeted than the side of the busy roadway where the only people who can actually read the sign are cyclists with both hands on the handlebars and not a pen or piece of paper in sight.