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You’re Qualified AND You Have Experience? Nope, I’m Not Interested.


Robby

Every week, almost without fail, I hear from someone here in Indianapolis who is looking for work. Usually, they are exhausted. They are frustrated. They feel like there’s nothing out there for them, and they are going crazy.

These people are at different phases in the process. Many of them have a job they don’t like and want to move up or move on. Others have been unemployed for months. Some are able to get interviews, but not offers. And there are those who have experienced an “involuntary career change.”

Involuntary Career Change
© Flickr User walmartcorporate

You know what I am talking about: people who used to work six figure jobs in corporate America but lately have been working in retail for a little over minimum wage. (Yes, retail is honorable work: it’s just a sign of the path of many of today’s jobseekers.)

So you may have to take what is sometimes called a “bridge job” while looking for the next opportunity. Isn’t the secret maintaining a positive attitude?

There are four elements necessary to be successful in the job search today. Having the first three alone is insufficient, but you might get lucky and stumble across a job. Here are the ones you know about:

  • Qualifications – Having the training, knowledge, skills, industry or state certifications, wisdom, judgement, and technical expertise to do the work.
  • Experience – Having worked before on similar problems or in related environments so you can apply your qualifications.
  • Character – A positive attitude, a friendly, approachable style, a good personality, and a commitment to the ethical standards of your profession.

If you have all of these things it’s possible you might get a job. And maybe they were enough five, ten, or twenty years ago.

Working from Home
© Flickr User ishane

But today, you need something else. Something that is more important than qualifications, experience, and character put together.

You need proof.

Proof is showing you can do the work by actually doing the work. In it’s simplest form, proof is the graphic designer’s portfolio. It is the journalist’s clippings file. It is the opera singer’s live audition. Proof is you showing you can do the work by bringing it live to the interview.

It’s a little harder to show proof if you’re an accountant or a paralegal or an account manager. In that case, proof comes from having a LinkedIn profile with endorsements and recommendations. It comes from being active on Twitter. It comes from leaving comments on blogs.

Or better yet, start your own blog and write about current trends or best practices in your industry.

What’s the best kind of proof? Sample work.

The second best kind? Social proof, in the form of your network–recommendations, endorsements, and people who want to help you because you’re a helpful person.

How to Find a Job, in Four Steps

Be qualified. Be experienced. Be a person of strong character. And finally, show proof that you can do the job.

You might find work without without the last one. But there’s not much chance you’ll find the best job for you.

So get out there and prove you know what you’re doing. Make something. Get some endorsements. Develop a product or write an article. Do something nobody else is doing.

Or, be just one of the other countless qualified, experienced people, and cross your fingers.

You might get something. But chances are, it will take longer than than you want.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, November 4 2014 » Uncategorized

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