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The 5 biggest lies about job hunting

Finding a job: 5 biggest lies about job hunting

1. Finding a job is difficult

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Brain surgery? That’s difficult. Quantium Physics? Yep, difficult. Finding a job — actually pretty straight forward.

Frustrating, time consuming and a bit of a pain in the bum, absolutely. But not actually ‘difficult’. There’s a very predictable strategy you can follow to land a job. Do that, and you’ll get one.

2. You need an opportunity to prove yourself

Sorry, but if you believe this, you’ve got it arse about. Prove yourself and you’ll get an opportunity. Not the other way around. Your job is to find a way to prove yourself. Even if you don’t have a job yet. Or even if the job you do have doesn’t allow you to do that. Create your own project. Write your own blog. Work for free. Do whatever it takes to prove yourself. Yes, before you get a job. That’s how you get one.

3. You shouldn’t work for free

I know some of you would have had a heart attack when I mentioned that in the last lie, so let me address it here.

We all work for free.

Whether you’ve had five minutes experience or fifty years, there are times we don’t get paid for our time or expertise. The reasons vary, but it happens. Deal with it. If your reason is for finding a job and you’re using it is an opportunity to get your foot in the door, that’s a pretty good reason.

In my book, The Swashbucklers Guide to Becoming an Astronaut (which isn’t actually about becoming an astronaut), I talk about ‘free hours’ as being your ‘marketing budget’. You ‘spend’ money (in the form of your time), to produce a result. Don’t spend it frivolously, but do spend it when you need to. A few free hours now to land a job worth $100,000 in the future is a really smart investment.

4. You don’t have time

Hey, guess what? You have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else. It’s how you choose to spend it. You know those people who invented the Hadron Collider? They had the same amount of time as you. They probably didn’t spend much of it down the pub with their mates. Or playing Pokemon Go. Or Candy Crush. Or whatever the equivalent of the era was. They were committed. They were determined. They made sacrifices. And they got the job done.

Make excuses if you like, but the truth is, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find or make the time. It’s what everyone who is passionate about doing something amazing does.

5. You’ve finished your education

<Insert buzzer sound here>.

Sorry, nope. That never happens. Ever.

We’re in a world of continuous change, which means continuous learning. No matter what you’ve learned so far, you need to learn more. No matter how fancy your degree or diploma is, it’s not gonna make the cut five minutes from now. Might not even make the cut now. I’ve never employed someone based on their qualifications. Or their grades. I employ them based on their abilities. And their ability, and willingness, to keep learning. Because the stuff we’ll be doing a few months from now probably hasn’t been invented yet, and I need you to find a way to be good at that too. So you’d better throw away that outdated idea that your education is finished. It’s not.

There are probably plenty of other job hunting lies, but these are five of the biggest. Or maybe that’s a lie and there are five bigger ones? I don’t know, you tell me? Any lies you can think of? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll write about them next time.

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