Everyone wants to win the lottery, right? Many people believe that when a large sum of money lands on their laps, their dreams will come true, their days will be care-free, and they can live happily ever after. There is an equivalent of “winning the lottery” in job search. We will talk about what it is and why you wouldn’t really want to win this “Job Search Lottery.”
Why does everyone think it’s so great to win a lottery? The typical answers include:
- It’s exciting to think about all the things we couldn’t afford, but can now easily buy with the lottery winnings
- The winnings are usually a significant amount of money so we don’t need to worry about money for life
But there is a also a less obvious, yet very important, reason behind the excitement of winning the lottery – if we were to earn the same amount of money as in a typical lottery winning, it would probably take a lot of hard work and a very long time. We are excited about winning the lottery because we don’t need to work for it. It’s easy.
So, what does it mean to win a Job Search Lottery? It means your dream job just lands on your lap without you doing any work for it. You don’t need to look for it. It comes to you. You don’t need to write resumes, cover letter, create and polish your LinkedIn profile, research companies, analyze job descriptions and requirements, network with fellow professionals, interview with people you’ll be working with, or negotiate your compensation package. You don’t need to do any work to get your dream job. That’s what I call “winning the Job Search Lottery.”
You probably already see why “winning the job search lottery” isn’t all that great for our professional health. Let’s go into some specifics on why you wouldn’t want anything to do with it:
- The odds are extremely low. Yes, we do hear about news of these lottery winners all the time. But the odds of winning are one in millions or even one in hundreds of millions. How about companies hiring people out of blue? What are the chances of that? Just like most of us would know that spending even just a dollar on lottery tickets is a total waste, any energy spent on wishing that we don’t have to write a resume or cover letter could be better used elsewhere.
- Your action does not influence the outcome. After you buy a lottery ticket, all you can do is wish. You are not in control of the outcome. Do you really want to apply the same method to get your dream job? By wishing? Knowing that your decision and action can make a difference in the results is powerful. This means you can actually take control and influence the outcome.
- You don’t really have the skills to survive. You heard this before – easy come, easy go. Many lottery winners actually end up in miserable financial conditions because they don’t have the financial knowledge or discipline to manage their new fortune. Let’s say, one day, your dream job just came to you and everything was great. But you would never know what was going to happen to the management, the company, the industry or the economy. Your dream job might vanish overnight. But you have not been keeping up with job searching knowledge or practicing job search skills, such as networking for job leads, customizing your resume or preparing for interviews. You will have even a harder time to survive the job market.
Winning the job search lottery isn’t a good thing at all. During the job search process, we are actually accumulating skills and building muscles that are useful in our long-term career growth. We can reap the benefits of building our network and establishing long-term relationships no matter what we do later. The communications and marketing skills we learn during job search can be applied later in all our future jobs. Don’t wish for the easy way out. When you land that great job because you took control of your job search and truly earned it, it’d be the most wonderful feeling in the world.