Can’t find a job?

Friday, July 17th, 2009 - career change, career management, career transition, CV Help, Employment, Job Advert, Job Application, job hunting, job search, job seeking, professionalism


Can’t find a job?

permutation

Danny asks: I often read that there is a shortage of people in Scotland with no 2nd language. I am fluent in French and Spanish, my German is not too bad and I’m learning Gaelic. I have the letters MA, DPSI, ACIL after my name and do the odd interpreting job for the UK Border Agency. Why can’t I find a decent job where I can put all my skills, qualifications and experience to good use? I’m fed up sending applications, CV’s and covering letters and then hearing nothing!! Can you help?

In answer:
Three questions:

  1. What is the dream job you seek?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 10years time?
  3. What plan do you have to get between the two?

If you have a clear thought about where you want to get to, then like most you will find there are different paths and options to get to where you want to get to.

The reason I ask this question is that the first thing you ought to be doing is testing the possibility of your dream/ideal job actually existing. Because even if the economy were great, it still might not exist.

New Career

I always tell my clients to get out a piece of paper, and describe at minimum at least five elements of their dream job. Then give each criteria a window of variation, and rank them in importance to you.

Now jump on the major national and local jobs boards, and tap in the top five criteria. Does a job appear? If not, remove the fifth criteria and do another search: does a job appear? Go up the list removing criteria until the search reveals at least ten jobs in your results.

Now re-enter the same five criteria, but if one of them is geographic (ie: within X miles of postcode Y), extend the search map until at least 10jobs are found: would you accept commuting this far? Undertake this geographic variation again, this time opening the fifth criteria first to its lowest setting – is there a variance in distance as to when 10jobs appeared? Undertake the same again but reducing/removing the fourth criteria; don’t repeat for the first three criteria, its would just then be too open.

You now have an excellent data about how realistic your job search criteria is, within the terms of the skills you wish to deploy and the area in which you must search. The results you have should tell whether your dream job presently exists, and if so where.

I suggest you then reflect on these results, how important the criteria are for you, and if necessary adjust the criteria and try a search again. If your dream job does exists, but not in the area in which you wish to live/work, then either change location or the job search.

Some times, you have to accept the realities of your ideals against the actual job market, and accept knowing compromise. This is far better than just drifting into any old job, or dropping criteria now on a whim to regret it later, and have a CV full of job chopping

Good Luck!

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