A friend of mine wanted to try doing a triathlon – a race involving swimming, bicycling and running. She was confident with the latter two but apprehensive about the swim. “I’ve been swimming since I was a kid, but I’ve never tried racing.” I offered to take a swim with her and see how she was in the water. It turns out she could barely keep her head up!
Swimming is like a lot of things in life. We can do it well enough to keep from drowning but we’re not truly competent and certainly not good enough to win a race. My friend admits, she never had any formal training in swimming. Her “lessons” consisted of going deeper and deeper into the lake and dog paddling when she couldn’t touch the bottom. I thought of how similar that “instruction” is to many things in life. We’re not really taught, we just kind of learn to do.
Job seeking is almost always learned that way. Few of us take classes or receive formal instruction, but we figure we know enough to get through. Lack of true knowledge of how to job search can hurt you just as much as lack of swimming instruction hurt my friend. Without a true understanding of how to job search, many “dog paddle”. They keep their heads above water by looking at job board listings and shooting out resumes blindly. They wonder why they get no response. They do their best in interviews but they don’t have confidence and real expertise in how to sell themselves effectively and win that interview.
The solution, of course, is to get good help and coaching with your job search. It’s amazing how much great input and support can accelerate your success, allowing you to get back to work sooner. Like a swimmer who finally learns a stroke and breathing techniques, a well trained job seeker is coordinated and efficient.
Great instruction is not just for beginners. Even though I am a strong swimmer, I decided to join my friend for a few lessons with a real expert. She learned enough to feel confident going into her triathlon, and I picked up new techniques and tips I wasn’t aware of. Even if you’ve managed an effective job search in the past, much has changed recently. Getting expert help will likely open your eyes to tactics and methods you knew nothing about. Whether just starting out or experienced in job search, most people will definitely benefit by seeking expert instruction and help.
After our lessons, my friend successfully completed her first triathlon. I asked her if she found the lessons valuable and she enthusiastically said she did. “Besides learning how to keep my eyes on the target and exert efficient effort, I came away with a huge sense of confidence which allowed me to complete the race.” Sounds a lot like job search. Eyes on goal, efficient effort and confidence.