The Yellow Brick Road to Job Searching
Searching for a job in today’s market can sometimes leave you feeling a lot like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz — sucked up in a storm of activity and dropped smack in the middle of some foreign land, where you really don’t understand what is going on or how to get back onto familiar ground. If you are anything like me, you might actually have tried clicking your heels together and saying, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!” Most likely to no avail 🙂
Even though the chant and heel clicking may be of no use, I still believe there are some valid lessons that we can glean from Dorothy’s journey:
1) Make Connections –
Dorothy’s journey became easier and more enjoyable once she could share it with others she met. As a job seeker, don’t try to do it all by yourself! The more people with whom you can connect, the more support you will have finding your next career position…and in less time.
2) Recognize and Embrace your Strengths –
The Scarecrow thought he needed a brain (cognitive / technical skills), the Tin Man thought he needed a heart (interpersonal skills), and the Cowardly Lion thought he needed courage (communication with confidence). Each of these characters had the qualities they needed all along…they just failed to recognize them. Evaluate your own strengths, recognize the skills you possess that employers find valuable, and be able to share succinct examples of how you have used these skills.
3) Beware of the “Flying Monkeys” –
Dorothy and her friends believed the flying monkeys were evil and intent on doing them harm. It turns out that they were under orders from the Wicked Witch. Similarly, I have often thought that today’s application / resume submission systems were evil and intent on making sure my information didn’t get through to hiring personnel. The reality is they are only taking orders 🙂 — programmed to search for certain words from the job posting matching those inside of my application and resume. If they don’t find those words, then I end up getting rejected. To break the evil spell, I just need to learn to incorporate “key words” from the job posting into my resume and application!
4) Use Technology to your Advantage –
The Wizard turned out to be an ordinary, middle aged man that knew how to make himself appear larger than life using technology. In today’s market we have social media that allows us to create our professional brand and keep it visible 24/7. Be sure to use this technology to highlight your unique qualities and contributions in a positive way.
While I can’t give you magic ruby red slippers or an all powerful and mighty Wizard of Oz, following the tips above should get you started down the “yellow brick road” to find and land your next career position.
Additional information on each of these tips is also provided at our Workforce Solutions job skills seminars. Check out the calendar for one near you.
Bobi Cook is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She currently conducts job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region utilizing her MBA and over ten cumulative years experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager within the automotive industry, and small business administrator to help job seekers develop and implement successful job search campaigns.