Today’s job market is nothing more than a buyer’s market; for every available job there is a multitude of applicants which makes the process even more competitive than in previous employment downturns. For those looking for the best available candidate, such an abundance of potential possibilities make for a remarkable hire. Unfortunately, for those looking for work, such competition means that you are going to need to work even harder to achieve ultimate success and satisfaction.
Competition is the American way. We teach our children that if you are going to achieve anything in this world that you are going to have to work hard at it every day. SAT, ACT, LSAT and GMAT are just a few methods of determining aptitude and predilection. We roundly distribute trophies, medals and awards for successful accomplishments while we live by the old adage that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
A job search is a teeter totter of emotions and deeds that can provide exceedingly valuable lessons and tools for future implementation in your career, but it can also be a life changing experience for those who aren’t prepared for the personal ramifications that can occur along the way.
“Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.” Olympian Jesse Owens recognized the true value of the competitive nature. Obviously we all want to win but we should also enjoy the path to victory. Though very little can be appreciated in the job seeking journey, it is an opportunity for self-inventory and self-examination. As the author of Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry stated, “never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”
To be Competitive in a Job Search – contemplate the following:
1) What do you really enjoy doing during a typical 9 to 5 day? At the end of the day what makes you the happiest and what accomplishments are you most proud of?
2) Are you content or just not willing to make a change? What are you afraid of and are you just in a rut not willing or able to move forward?
3) Is your profession a means to the end or an end to the means and what may that end be?
4) What do I do best and what do others think of those accomplishments?
5) When am I the happiest? Who are the people I surround myself with at those moments?
6) Am I looking for a job, a paycheck or the next phase in my career?
7) Am I prepared to totally engage in a new destination knowing that it will take time to assimilate anew?
8) Have you moved on from previous experiences and have you learned from them?
9) Are you excited about the future or concerned about what is to come?
10) What is your ideal future?
The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali.
Answering such questions can be painful, especially during a period that already finds you anxious and concerned about your future. Without contemplation and sincere insight into what you want to be when you grow up, the fear is that you may find yourself in this same predicament all over again sometime in the future.
Examine yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends – those people who are there with you down that long path – through thick and thin. “A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide since 1986 who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words and 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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