If you were to change Newton’s third law of motion, which states “To every action there is always opposed and equal reaction”, to fit job transition it will sound like this: “To every job search experience there is always an equal learning you can use again.”
After meeting 250+ candidates and my own transitions, I have seen traits and skills that are learned in job search. A candidate may not put these skills on a resume, but they are a huge benefit to the hiring company.
1 – Eager to Work: Businesses always want to find a ‘motivated’ employee. Knock. Knock. We’re here.
2 – Ability to Network: It’s more than learning networking techniques like LinkedIn, but the willingness to invest into building a network and the hard work of reaching out to others, and learning how to improve your ability to work with others.
3 – Value of Network to Business: A network is not just for finding a job. It is a wickedly powerful tool to find and connect to clients, vendors, investors, candidates and advice, often with a national or international reach.
4– Communication Skill: Besides developing an effective pitch, it’s also delivering it in multiple forms: in person, e-mail, blogs, Twitter, resumes, etc. Most important, candidates know how to keep it short.
5– Broadened view of business/Awareness of trends: When else in your career will you just focus on meeting loads of people, seeing so many businesses and learning about the market. Networking can be a like a mini-MBA of learning.
6 – Understanding of their skills: The virtually continuous feedback stream from networking and interviews, gives a sharp view of skills, including those which are stronger than a candidate may think.
7– Open to new ideas: Search forces a candidate to think differently about a career path, how to find answers, what skills to use and living in new financial world… and they successfully lived through it.
8 – Not afraid of risk: How often do we complain of people not willing to take a bit of risk? Candidates try new ideas almost daily with their most precious resource: themselves.
9 – Dig up the Answer: No roadmap on how it should get done. No problem. Candidates get creative to find connections, get inside companies, learn the language and get to know who will interview you.
10 – Ability to deal with adversity: Search is a war of attrition between what’s it like out there and a Candidate’s psyche. Unlike work, everything is personal, which makes every defeat that much tougher. If we survived this, a project that goes off course is a piece of cake to fix.
11– Constraints inspire innovation: No corporate support, limited finances and less than welcoming marketplace. Candidates are not going to quit, so they make constraints a source of innovation.
12 – Local community contacts: Most networking is done locally and these are great for working in the community for non-profits and corporate awareness.
People currently employed can also see these items, but there is a greater frequency and heightened awareness when in job search that cements these traits into a candidate. Of course, no two candidates will have the same level of these traits – but they will be there (and many others as well!).
Job search always gets a bad rap, so we all tend to hide our efforts while looking for a job. So let’s promote how job search has improved us and what we can bring to a company.
Good luck today.