Tactical Tips for Job Seekers

As a retired Marine Officer, I’ve always been a fan of General and former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. “The Warrior Monk”, as he is often known, is as famous for his intellect as he is for his experience on the battlefield. Mattis argued that the best way to hone war-fighting skills is to leverage lessons learned from history. He went on to write that, “A real understanding of history means that we face nothing new under the sun.” He believed that though the technology has changed, Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar wouldn’t be the least bit confused by what they saw on the modern battlefield. I’m going to piggyback off of the General and state that job seekers today face nothing new under the sun. Certainly, the process has changed a bit, but an adventurous and industrious individual who could land a top-notch job in the 1700’s could do the very same thing today. Once someone showed him how to use a computer, of course. With your permission, I’d like to run through a few historically proven and time-tested tactical tips for job seekers.

Be Practical and Be Disciplined

General Mattis continued in his support of history by saying, “We have been fighting on this planet for 5,000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. Winging it and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession.” Friends, the world of recruiting and job hunting is littered with the bodies and careers of the reckless and haphazard job seeker.

The best advice that I can give you when you begin your job search is to be practical. Look, I’m an excellent recruiter, but I’m not a magician. I can’t turn a custodian into a rocket scientist overnight, but I can set up nearly everyone with the next practical step in their career. That’s not to say you don’t dream big, but we tackle your dream one ideal job at a time. Now, it may be that your next step is that final C-Suite position you’ve been working towards and if so, you’ll look back on the practical steps and hard work it took for you to arrive at this moment. The only thing worse than not getting a job is landing a job for which you are poorly qualified.

The next best tactical tip that I can give you is to be disciplined in your approach to seeking a job. It doesn’t do one very much good to lament the lack of a job or an unsatisfying job while doing nothing on any given day to land a new job. You have got to spend time each day either looking for a job or actively improving yourself as an individual and professional. You can’t see it with your eyes, but at this very moment there are industrious and ambitious individuals working very hard to land your dream job in your stead. You are in a competition this very moment and you would do well to act accordingly. Being a harder worker than the next guy has been helping people land good jobs for thousands of years, so embrace a little discipline.

Next week, I’ll take an in-depth look at the importance of being properly prepared before going on the hunt for a new job. Until then, if you have questions or want to schedule a time to meet with me to talk further about your specific situation, email me at dan@connectingfile.com.