job search, employer, bad boss, bad, corey harlock, marketing

I used to work in restaurants, I was a trouble shooter. People would hire me to “fix” what was broken. Often the fact no one was coming through the doors which in turn meant they were bleeding money.

So I would go in and assess food, service, if the offering matched the target audience things like that. At one point, usually a week or two in someone would suggest that we needed “marketing, we need to attract more people.” My answer to this was always, “marketing your restaurant now would just be advertising to a whole bunch of people how bad you are.”

What I meant was that the reason these restaurants were struggling was because, well to put it bluntly, their food and service sucked! So bringing in the masses to get crappy food and crappy service wouldn’t help, it would actually crush the business.

I see people doing the same thing in their job search, especially the over 40 crowd. They market them-self before they take care of finding out what they are really selling. And no, it’s not your “over 20 years” of experience.

Now Tim [Tyrell-Smith] can show you how to get the word out there on a grand scale through social media.

But what I want you to do is take stock of what you really want before you get out there and start “marketing!” Why? Marketing yourself before you’re ready can hurt your job search, really, really bad, in the following ways.

Here is the dangerous cycle of how you could be hurting your job search by “Marketing” yourself too soon.

One: Many people, when they start their job search start applying to jobs, any jobs, every job they see. Jobs they are qualified for, under-qualified for, over-qualified for and jobs they have zero qualifications for. This is risky for 2 reasons:

  1. You get a reputation as a stalker. That’s right. We headhunters call you “stalkers” and because you apply for every job, you get eliminated from every job.
  2. It might work and a company as desperate for employees as you are for a job might actually call you for an interview! They’re desperate for a reason – they are horrible to work for! How would you like to work for those guys?

Two: Now once you have applied to all of these companies and have or haven’t gotten an interview there are 2 more landmines you could encounter.

  1. You go to the interview and they make you an offer. Awesome, right? Getting a job with a company you have no interest in is a recipe for “short-term employment” disaster. Whether it’s your decision to leave or theirs (you get fired), short-term employment is not helping you. Especially for the over 40, unemployed, very experienced and looking for a home.
  2. Or after they call you do some research and decide, “Ah, they’re not the company for me” and you no-show for the interview.

Three: That hiring manager that you “no showed” on, quit on or who fired you ends up at a company you are excited about. That’s bad! Hiring managers have long memories and this is now a huge roadblock for you to get into this company. You have a black mark next to your name for life.

Four: The cycle of applying to every job you see does not generate interviews. In fact it will dramatically lesson your chances of getting calls.

Or, if you do get calls it will be for jobs you are not excited about.

Or if you do go to the interviews and get hired the odds are against you “loving that job.

All of this contributes to stealing your pride and confidence. You stop thinking about the value you bring and start thinking “why can’t I get hired, what am I doing wrong?”

Being over 40, you are used to providing for yourself, your family and your future. Being over 40 and unemployed you start to question your value and the truth if your over 40 and looking for a job, you’re probably in a shame spiral.

If you want to break this cycle you have to stop (right now) focusing on jobs and hiring managers. I know it sound strange, but stop. And start focusing on yourself. The first thing you can do is find a quiet, private place for at least an hour. Put on your favorite music, grab a pen and paper, pour yourself a coffee, tea, beer, wine, tequila in a dirty glass, whatever you really enjoy and start writing down all the thing you “love and want to do” at your new job – your true strengths. Not things like “being organized or hard working.” I want you to go deep, really deep and get specific about it – it’s your life. Take a moment to see the view looks like from the top of the mountain instead of looking up and thinking “how do I get there.”

Next, I want you to write down all of the things you require in return from an employer to deliver all the things you “love and want to do” on a high level. How do you need to be managed and recognized? What is your perfect environment?

Once you are crystal clear on these you’ll be amazed how the jobs that meet your criteria start appearing where they never used to be.

I know you’ll have comments, so let me have em!

Be Fearless and Stay Inspired.

Photo credit: Public Domain Photos