Tactical Tips for Job Seekers

Last week I introduced the topic of Historically Proven Tactical Tips for Job Seekers by advising you to “Be Prepared” and “Be Disciplined.” Today’s discussion is going to be about preparing for the battle. Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” He knew the importance of being ready for the task-at-hand before diving into it.

Preparation Always Wins the Day

Whether it is a job hunt or a pitched battle, the most prepared will always emerge victorious. To say more bluntly as I would to my Marines, proper planning prevents piss poor performance. In fact, I’ll go so far as to offer you the United States Marine Corps troop leading steps to set you on your way in the planning process. BAMCIS, as any Marine would refer to it, has universal applications.

Begin Planning – Determine your lateral limits. What salary do you require to meet your needs and how flexible are you willing to be with that number? Do you need a job in your current city or is relocation an option? If it’s not ideal is there a salary number that would help you get over your misgivings about relocation? What kind of hours are you willing to work and is flexible scheduling or remote work an option for you? There are millions of jobs out there and if you walk into the job hunt unprepared, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by what’s out there.

Arrange for Reconnaissance – Now that you know what you want and need, you are prepared to start researching who is hiring and what kinds of jobs they are offering. The reason this step comes after the original planning process is that it allows you to dictate the pace. You determine what you are looking for rather than the job market dictating the pace and search to you. Identify what it is you are seeking and take the next step.

Make Reconnaissance – The tools may have changed over the centuries, but job seekers who walk into an interview armed with information are at a tactical advantage. Not to mention it might help you ensure that you are not booking the last ticket on the Titanic which is a company about to go under. You can use Google, Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter and so on to gain as much intelligence as you can before you walk in the door. Even the company website can be loaded with cues and insights into an organization’s corporate culture. Now, the potential employer is not an enemy, but something about the following quote from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War still rings true. Namely, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Interviews are not frightening ventures for the well-prepared.

Complete the Plan – Armed with all the intelligence at your disposal, now you have to pick your targets. That’s where you dive deep and you strategize how you are going to approach your target. Remember, some of the best jobs in the world are never posted. If you see a company for which you want to work, a good recruiter can help you get in the door and create your own opportunity. So, what’s your plan? Decide it now because the next step is very actionable.

Issue the Order – This one always gets me excited because this is where the action is. Anytime I issued an order that required Marines to step outside the wire, I did so with confidence because I knew my Marines were prepared. Have confidence in your plan and execute it with a little swagger.

Supervise – Finally, you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to follow through with the steps and you need to be paying attention as the plan might require some modification once you get out on the battlefield of a job hunt. Check in with yourself and ask if you are getting the results you wanted. If not, then it’s time to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

A Historical Review of the Job Hunt

Well-disciplined and well-prepared job seekers have rarely had a hard time finding employment at any point in history. Even when global economies take a hit or a pandemic changes status quo, those who have put in the preparation are the first to bounce back. I know 2020 seems chaotic but know that when it comes to landing a stellar job that we are seeing nothing new under the sun. If you feel challenged by the current prospects, then consider speaking with a recruiter for a little focused guidance.

If I might be so bold as to suggest myself for such a role as I’ve been helping individuals navigate this pandemic and continue to land jobs using the same tactics that have worked throughout history. We simply modify the tools and adapt to the current landscape. There are top-notch companies hiring right now, regardless of what you are hearing about the economy. I’d be honored to explore these options with you and maybe even talk a little history. Reach out to me at dan@connectingfile.com and let’s connect.