Baby Boomers: Seek and You Shall Find Meaning and Fulfillment in Your Job
Are you feeling frustrated and worried about your job hunting?
You are not ready to retire and you need a job because the bills are piling up. I know that feeling. You are not alone. You will find one and hopefully soon.
My friend, baby boomer Eddy found his dream job as a marketing specialist recently. I asked him to share a few tips with me and here they are:
1) Be realistic
Eddy understands the simple rule of supply and demand. Jobs are few and yet candidates are many. He knows how competitive it is to get noticed among all the other job seekers. He was ready to give his best shot to hunt for his dream job and did not expect an overnight miracle.
It took him about a year to land on his job but in the process, he learned so much about himself, other people and business in general. He said, “I have not only found a job; I found myself. I found meaning.”
2) Be positive
Eddy surrounds himself with inspiring messages and people. In his spare time, instead of watching TV, he watches selective TED talks with topics that are of interest to him. He always learns something from these talks. If you are not familiar with TED videos, visit www.TED.com and start exploring ideas worth spreading.
3) Be current
Eddy has his university degree in Business. He enjoys taking continuing education programs offered by local colleges. He took a photography class some time ago and now he is taking a certificate course in project management. He finds that taking classes is the best way to learn from professionals and keep his skills current. He also observes that employers tend to encourage and support their staff to participate in continuing education programs. Lifelong learning is necessary, rewarding and career-enhancing. You can also make it fun.
4) Be selective
Eddy didn’t apply to any job. He was selective in his job-hunting. He understood his talents, strengths, weaknesses, interest areas, passion and values. He strategically planned out his search and expanded his reach to his prospective employers. He did not just sit, wait and worry. He continued to sharpen his skills, stayed alert with all industry news and built his network of acquaintances so that he could serve and be served.
In terms of his job-hunting process, Eddy walked his talk and shared the following strategies:
1) Building a professionally written resume
Once you have a good, basic resume or the “master” copy, you need to tailor the resume depending on the particular job you are applying for. Your resume reflects your skills, achievements, education and employment history. But most importantly, you need to tell prospective employers how you can help them achieve their organizational goals. Speak of the benefits, values and solutions that you will bring to their organization. Address this question while formulating your resume content: “Why should Mr. Jones hire you instead of the next candidate?”
2) Being ready to tell other people about your need
This includes preparing an elevator speech. You need to be ready to tell others who you are, your expertise and what kind of job you are looking for. Your pitch needs to be clear and concise. You can prepare a 30-second version and a one-minute version. Two-minute is too long. Mumble-jumble is not acceptable.
3) Online Networking and Connection
Networking with friends, industry groups online via LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com). Eddy updates his profile, headline and recommendations regularly. He joins groups, responds to comments, asks relevant questions, and engages in discussions.
4) Live Interactions
Eddy interacts with people by joining face-to-face industry networking breakfast events and meet-up groups to expand his contacts. You can look up these local meet-up events on the internet or ask your friends for referrals.
I cannot agree more with Eddy. I also have my own life-changing encounter with a meet-up group in Toronto. I joined a group called Toronto Meaningful Living Group this year and the bi-weekly meetings are filled with insight, laughter and heart-felt exchanges of ideas. There, you will meet Drs. Paul Wong and Lilian Wong. They are experienced psychologists, professors and profoundly human. They are the two professionals that you will never forget. If you are in the area, check this out: http://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Meaningful-Living-Group/. It’s free.
5) Help and Serve
Being helpful to others whom he has met online or offline. Eddy would offer his expertise whenever appropriate. He would help connect others with resources within his circle. When you help others, you feel good about yourself and benefit others. People will return their favour to you down the road. Be generous to sow and you will reap bountifully in time.
6) Research and Follow
Other than monitoring popular job boards such as Workopolis and LinkedIn, Eddy researched target companies and followed them online to watch for potential job openings. The more you are selective in the process, the more you will find a job that is closely aligned with you passion and values. The key is to know what your target is. Don’t settle for second best because you will perform better and experience less stress doing something you enjoy.
7) Rules and Discipline
Lastly, Eddy set up a rule for himself. On a weekly basis, he would send out at least five resumes in response to job postings. He worked hard to keep searching and he would not give up until he met his quota. Based on his informal estimates, he had a 10-percent success rate of getting an interview. Your chance of getting a job increases to 25 to 50 percent if you land on an interview. Preparing to ace an interview takes much work, skill and practice. It is another topic for next time.
If you follow Eddie’s tips and tricks, you will have no time to worry. Better still, you will find your dream job that brings fulfillment and meaning.
Everyone has something unique to offer. No one else in this world can do the same job as you can because you are one-and-only. Go seek and you will find your dream job.
What is the biggest challenge for your job hunting?
What other tips or tricks can you share?