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2,000 Percent Solution for Job Seekers

2,000 Percent Solutions for Job Seekers

Are you ready for The 2,000 Percent Solutions for Job Seekers? Why a 2,000 percent solution? If you found an acceptable job, that would be a 100 percent solution. These ideas should help you find a position that is twenty times better for you or help you find it twenty times faster. Twenty times 100 percent equals 2,000 percent.

Read on to find out how to have fun while finding a new job, how to look forward to each day, and how to find the "I-want-to-get-up-in-the-morning-and-go-to-work" position.

Read about why Job Seekers become Job "Stallers"

To say that most people do not like the job hunting process would be an understatement. It is important to understand why the job hunting process is so unpleasant. The way we go about finding a new position now actually hinders us, puts up road block and stalls our progress in finding the right match between the individual and the position. The reasons are described in The 2,000 Percent Solution by Donald Mitchell, Carol Coles and Robert Metz.

There are seven "stalls" that get in our way and give us an excuse for not succeeding. The most common one, based on joint research conducted by the American Management Association and the authors is The Communications Stall. In fact, executives who were interviewed said that this stall is the main reason for high employee turnover in companies.

The Communications Stall means that the messages we think we have sent have not been received or understood. We may not have communicated enough or in ways that the listener learns best. Think about the job search and interview process. If you use an executive search firm or placement agency, you might hear about more positions, but you are also greatly increasing the risk of miscommunicating by adding a middleman to the process. Have you ever been told one thing by the recruiter and something else by the company? Did you know that in Japan, factories and offices are compact, not because there is a shortage of land, but because that fosters the most effective communications? The interview itself is ripe with miscommunication about the details of the position, skill and qualification levels and salary and incentive compensation levels. No wonder we leave interviews not knowing how well we did, being offered positions we thought we would never get and not getting the ones we were sure of.

The Communications Stall is not the only problem. The Misconception Stall, making decisions and creating beliefs that are based on inaccurate information occurs all the time. Some people think that the more interviews they have, the greater their chances to find a new position. Not true. The more interviews they have, the busier they will be. Some people equate being busy to making progress. Some people believe that because of an experience that they have had, they are qualified to work in a new field. Not usually true. I heard a group of chief financial officers talking about their aspirations to become CEO. Two succeeded, one from within the company he worked for after the new CEO hired from the outside was fired by the Board, and the other in the heat of a takeover battle, only to lose his position after the company was acquired. Changing careers requires long-term and careful emotional and business preparation.

The Procrastination Stall is bound to get you if it hasn't already. It is hard to sit down to update your resume. It is hard to make those telephone calls to search firms, friends, ads in the newspaper and acquaintances you have not talked to in years. It is hard to send out all those E-mails and letters. It is hard to get dressed up and get excited about going on another interview. The first response is that we procrastinate. The second response is that we get angry with ourselves for procrastinating and with our family for bugging us about finding another job. We get down on ourselves and procrastinate more. Have you ever felt like this? Hold on, there is hope. There are 2,000 percent solutions to help you.

If the Procrastination Stall doesn't get you, perhaps The Tradition Stall has. You remember what you did last time to get a new position. Even if you ended up with a position that wasn't right for you, you will tend to follow the same path that led to that position. Why? Because that's the way you've always done it! Most people do not ask themselves what they could do differently or better than they did before.

The fifth stall is The Ugly Duckling Stall. Do you avoid the classified ads in the newspapers because the ink gets your hands dirty, or, because you think everyone must know about those positions? Do you not ask certain people for help, even though you know that they can help you, because it is uncomfortable and might make you feel awkward or embarrassed. Remember that ugly ducklings turn into beautiful swans and people cannot resist helping others if asked in the right way.

Have faith, do not become a disbeliever. Because if you do, The Disbelief Stall will reduce your chances again. Have you ever not applied for a position because you just knew you wouldn't get it? When hearing who got that position, have you ever said (or thought) "Boy! I'm glad I didn't get that job. If that person got it, that job wasn't for me." Be a believer. Believe in yourself. Go after the job you want.

Finally, the job hunting process is designed to discourage you. The Bureaucracy Stall will make the mercury rise in your frustration thermometer. We are told to send a letter to a specific person, never hear if the resume was received, never get a response and are stalled when we try to call or contact someone else. The number of forms we need to complete, the number of people we need to meet an the number of hours sitting in reception areas are all more than need be.

Are you ready for The 2,000 Percent Solutions for Job Seekers? Here are the eight steps to help you land your "ideal" job.

The Eight Steps to The 2,000 Percent Solutions for Job Seekers

Step 1: Understand the importance of measuring your job-seeking activities and the results of these activities. It is almost impossible to get better without knowing how you are doing! A good way to get started, and to find out what you really like to do is to ask yourself how you like to spend your time. Write down for a week what you do and how many hours you spend doing it. Be candid. At the end of the week, ask yourself:

  • How much time am I spending on each activity?
  • What can I avoid doing or do differently to free up time?
  • What would I rather be doing that is more productive and more fun?
  • How can I avoid doing the least productive things and accomplish more?
  • How else could I have gotten these activities done, had better results and had more fun?
  • Why was I ineffective when I was? Where did I waste time and effort?
  • You will find that you are starting to make progress just by asking the right questions..

    Step 2: Decide what to measure that will make your job search more effective. Most people find that when they have the right information, decisions are easy to make. The reason people have such a hard time getting the right information is that they do not know what information they need: They do not know what questions to ask. Searching for a position presents the same challenge.

    Start with the Questions You Ask Yourself. The purpose of this step is to develop the information you will need to build your Job Requirements Inventory.

  • What do you like to do?
  • What kind of people do you like to work with?
  • Can you describe an environment in which you would enjoy working?
  • What did you like about jobs you have had in the past?

    Be as specific as possible and think of real examples and positions you have been in before you answer the question. For example, one person thought he wanted to be in an active, moving, hard working environment, where people would put in extra hours to get the work finished on time and where everyone would feel a great sense of accomplishment for having done so much. The more he described what the people would be like, the more he realized how much pressure would exist in that environment. Although he craves feeling that sense of accomplishment, he decided that a pressure cooker is not where he wants to be. He began to look for companies that reward individuals for a job well done and where people have care and concern for others at the top of their values list.

    Another person prepared shipments for delivery and loaded and drove one of the trucks for his company. He did such a good job and the customers liked him so much, that he was promoted to warehouse supervisor. Unfortunately, after two months, he left to find another position. He did not like being indoors all day and craved the customer contact.

    Now go back and ask yourself the negative of all these questions, and be honest.

  • What do you dislike doing?
  • What kind of people make you nervous, uncomfortable, feel pressured, unhappy?
  • Can you describe and environment in which you would not like to spend time?
  • What did you really dislike about jobs you have had in the past?

    As you begin to think about and answer these questions, you will think of more and better questions to add to your Job Requirements Inventory. Go ahead and add them. The more specific you make your inventory, the better you will match your next position with your health and happiness.

    When you think you have answered these questions, sit down with your spouse or a close friend and share the questions and your responses. Everyone I have done this with found that they were not totally honest with themselves. They knew that something would feel right or wrong to them, but did not admit it to themselves, nor did they write it down on their inventory. Writing it down and saying it aloud to whomever you are with are commitments to look for that benefit in your next position. It will bring you one step closer to where you want to be.

    Then set up some measures to keep track of your activities. How much time will you spend researching the companies you may be interested in, how many letters will you send out, how many telephone calls will you make, who will you visit and talk with? The next few steps will help you decide what numbers you need here, and they are smaller than you think. Set up your possible measurement categories now and then read Steps 3-6. Give yourself some easy measures so that on a daily basis you are making progress, and give yourself some hard measures, such as "how many offers have I received?" as the "Yea! Congratulations! You've done it!" After reading the next few steps, come back here and fine tune your measurements.

    Step 3: Locate the best practice for finding the "ideal" job on a timely basis. Defining your honest Job Requirements Inventory and narrowing down the possible job choices are hard best practices to practice, but are the keys to matching the things you are passionate about with the job that will let you be passionate about the things you do.

    By the time you have reviewed your questions at least twice, your Job Requirement Inventory will begin to take shape. The objective is to describe a position that you will passionately like, both because of the work you do and the people you work with.

    Let us now assume that you have been honest with yourself and here are the things that you really want and which will make you really happy.

  • a position in a stable, slow growth company. You are tired of working for firms that have serious problems, need to be turned around and frequently lay off employees.
  • a small to mid-size company. You do not really want to suffer the red tape of The Bureaucracy Stalls any longer.
  • a position that pays at least above a certain level, both for your self esteem and because your family will feel that you sold yourself short otherwise
  • a position in or near a city because you do enjoy attending professional sports events
  • a position within access to an airport because your son or daughter will be in college or entering the military soon and you would like to be able to occasionally visit
  • a relaxed and friendly atmosphere
  • a place where people believe in the work ethic. It is important for you to work with others who are not slouchers and couch potatoes.
  • a place where honesty and sharing are the norm You want to work with people who share the same values.

    Step 4: Go practice that best practice now, or Where Can You Go To Find Your Ideal Job?

    1. Network - Talk to every one, including people you used to work with and friends and neighbors, but remember to be choosy. Match what you hear with your Job Requirements Inventory. When you hear about something interesting, do your research first. This step is described below.

    2. Research at the library - Read magazine and newspaper stories to learn about companies you might want to work for, look at the last few Value Lines\ pages on the company, see if any books were written about it (that is often a great way to learn about the company culture).

    3. Watch one or two business or business - news television shows regularly to learn about more companies.

    4. Search firms - Use search firms, but only the ones that come recommended by friends. Too many search firms can waste a lot of your time. Explain to the search firm exactly what you want and what you can offer to these companies. The search firms are part of your network.

    5. See if you know any people who are directors or outside advisors (attorneys, accountants) so you can learn more about the companies they know and perhaps get a friendly reference.

    How Can You Tell If This Is Your Ideal Job?

    1. Be selective and contact the companies you want to work for even if they do not have an opening. Your objective is to meet them. Tell them you want to learn about their culture, what they do so you can give them improvement ideas.

    2. Interview the firm and people who work there - If you get a chance to visit the company, this is your opportunity to interview them! Learn what their culture and values are. Ask how they would make a decision about an issue you describe for them. Ask what it is like to work there. And, if you hear what you like, be prepared to give them a good idea of how you can help them. For example, by doing the research you have already done, you have probably thought of many things the company should consider to grow faster or to increase profits. Even if they are already working on what you suggest, you have made the good impression.

    3. Talk with competitors - Use the telephone if you are too far away. Look at the competitors' products in stores. Talk with distributors and salespeople. Ask which products or services are better and why. Ask how they like working for the company they work for. If this is a retail product, listen to other purchasers and learn why they are deciding to buy which ever product they chose. Be a consumer, and ask the questions you would ask if you were making a purchase decision.

    4. Talk with customers of the company - This is easy if it is a retail product. If not, ask the company you are interested in if they will suggest a few customers you may talk with to learn more about the business. They should be impressed. If they refuse, you do not want to work there. The red flag has just been raised.

    5. Talk with suppliers - This message is the same as the one above for customers. Talk with and listen to both people who have this company as a customer and the company's customers. You are hoping to hear the same messages from both (quality, good treatment, perhaps gain-sharing arrangements with suppliers, working together to solve problems ...)

    6. Read what the local newspaper says - This is your gossip columns. Many large cities have news stands where you can purchase many out-of-town newspapers. The favorite activity of local reporters is to run negative stories on local companies. You will be amazed at what you can learn.

    7. Follow up appropriately and on a timely bases.

    If you are interested in working with a start-up organization, the focus and issues are somewhat unique. Find out everything you can about the values of the founders and those of the early employees in the firm. Learn whatever you can about the company culture and how the team operates. People in most start-up firms will work very long hours. Does everyone work really long hours on their own or together? Are there break times or party times or times to go on walks or to the gym? This is critical is a high-stress environment. What is your risk tolerance for failure if the firm does not make it, or just seems to hang on? The best way to get the sense of "is this right for me?" is to spend time there and try to spend some social time with people who work in that firm now. If you would like more advice on start-up firms, please let us know.

    Steps 5 and 6: Identify the "ideal" best practice and put those practices into action now.

    Your objective is to have no more than 30 companies you would like to get to know better and to have no more than 20 interviews, only with those companies. Act as if you already work there, help solve their problems, suggest ways that they can grow and be more profitable, suggest better ways for them to serve their customers.

    Remember that to do this, you will have to do some homework. Read the local press and any company reports you can find, like the annual report. Sometimes, libraries have these and you can usually find them on the Internet. If the company is public, read the analysts reports. Most stock brokers can get them for you. Use the Internet to look at their home page, read speeches, read releases. Talk with customers, suppliers and competitors.

    Prepare for your telephone call and custom-design the letter you send for each of these companies. Be prepared to use one of your good ideas during the first conversation, or share one in the letter you send. It will make you stand out. Save another one-three ideas for when you meet, or talk again. Try to keep at least one good idea in reserve. You will create a wonderful impression. And, you will begin to have fun.

    Step 7: Match what you know about the company and the position with your skills and your passions.

    Is this hard to do? No, but it does take desire, planning and a little time. That is why it is critical to have your Job Requirements Inventory and be very selective about the companies you get seriously interested in. People have found that it takes about six months for them to find their Ideal Job, and that when they do, life is very good and continues to get better.

    Step 8: Keep fine tuning your "Ideal Job". Each time you go on an interview, you will learn more about what you like and do not like, what you are comfortable with and what makes you uncomfortable, what you feel passionate about and what does not excite you. Go back and fine tune your Job Requirements Inventory. Rethink what you are looking for and refocus your search if that becomes necessary. Keep repeating the process until you find your ideal job.

    We encourage you to use this process, send us your comments and share your experiences. We will be happy to help. You can reach us at, or please contact by e-mail at We wish you the best of luck in finding your Ideal Job and in putting all of your "stalls" behind you.

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