In a Job Search? Quit Complaining

job searchIf you're conducting a job search in this no-go economy you no doubt have a lot to complain about. It turns out all your bellyaching can help you if you tune in to what you're grumbling about and why.

I just finished reading Jon Gordon's book The No Complaining Rule. In the book he points out, "Complaining can be a gift if we use it correctly. Once we know what we don't like, we can decide what we do like and act on it. We can use complaining as a catalyst for positive change."

Here are some common job search complaints and advice for using Gordon's No Complaining strategies to move past them.


My resume isn't working.

When job seekers don't get interviews, they often blame their resume. But in truth, the resume is just one piece of the process. If you are complaining about your resume, examine how you are using it and think about how you can change tactics.

For example, if your primary method of search is posting on job boards, start building meaningful connections with the people who can hire you rather than relying on people whose job it is to parse resume data. Target a few companies that you would like to work for, where you believe there is a good fit and approach them directly, even if they aren't hiring. Every company recruits at some point. Building relationships now improves the odds that you'll be a candidate when opportunities emerge.


No one in my network can help me find a job.

Tell the truth, have you spent the last 15 years "networking" with the same six colleagues? If so, you're overdue to reach out to friends, family, fellow alumni, past colleagues, members of professional organizations, community service providers, and people you meet via online communities. You never know where leads are going to come from and you don't want to wear out your welcome by coming back to the same person over and over. If you haven't done so in a while, find ways to reach out to new people over the next few weeks.


I interviewed for a position but I haven't heard back about next steps.

Take the initiative to follow up on your own. This doesn't mean leaving dozens of voice mail messages or sending multiple emails. Instead send a note that reinforces the value you could bring to the team. You might forward a relevant article, information about an industry event or an acknowledgment of something you read about the company recently.


It takes too long for the companies to make a decision.

Get used to it. Landing a job might be your top priority, but it's probably lower down on the list of the overburdened manager doing the hiring. Deal with it by reaching out periodically to communicate that you are aware that they haven't made a decision yet but you continue to remain very interested in the position. Then go for a run or a bike ride or a coffee or grocery shopping, whatever you need to do to put it out of your mind.


The person who interviewed me doesn't seem to "get" what I do.

If your first interview is with an hr person, she might recruit for several functions across the company and not know all the nuts and bolts of what you do. Still, she's the bridge to the next round, so keep an open mind and a positive demeanor. Generally, HR is looking for cultural fit and your ability to work well in a team. Having several accomplishment-focused stories to demonstrate these competencies will help get you in front of the person who really counts, the boss you would actually be working for.

Next: How to Get Noticed By Recruiters >>


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