It’s Time to Change Your Career Search Strategy

People are pursuing jobs today like fisherman going after fish at a popular lake with a local reputation for lots of big fish. The trouble is that the fishing today at this lake isn’t what it used to be. In the past, everyone was confident of getting plenty of strikes and landing at least one or two decent keepers. Those days are gone, yet fisherman keeps hoping it will get better again.

Today the lake shore is crowded with fisherman (job seekers) desperately waiting for a bite. They are flailing the water with different lures and baits trying to find a tactic that will produce fish a job, any job.

The problem is that most of the fish are gone and the few that are still in the lake are small. So what are the fisherman doing? They try harder and long. They change tactics. They move around to different spots on the lake hoping to get a hit. Just changing up your resume or improving your interviewing techniques isn’t going to make much difference in the outcome. Those methods will only work if there are fish to be caught.

Some job seekers are even demanding that the government should do something to create new jobs. That is like saying the fisheries department should stock more hatchery-raised fish in the lake. Think about it, stocked fish are usually minimum catchable size, translate that into low paying jobs. There is a limited quantity dumped into the lake, people rush to catch them and they are soon fished out. Are more government created jobs what we are really fishing for?

It’s time to rethink your strategy. What is it that you are after? Is it a job or is it rewarding work? There is a shortage of jobs today but there is not a shortage of work. To find work you need to change your strategy and stop wasting time where the jobs and the crowds of fishermen are. It’s time to stop chasing after a small number of minimum size jobs that are being pursued by the crowds.

Finding meaningful work in today’s climate will take a new strategy. It means turning away from the overfished lake and seeking out the less accessible but better-populated ponds and streams. A new strategy means risking and trying a whole new approach that focuses on targeting rewarding work and not a job. There is meaningful work out there, it looks different than a job but it will take a new strategy to find it and catch it.