Helping Job Seekers 302

Posted on August 12, 2009

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The whole point of this series of articles is that we all know people who are looking for work. Some of us are people looking for work. I wanted to share what you can do for those people besides sending them job notices that you find, and asking “So how’s the job hunt going?”

The best thing you can do for your job seeker friend is listen. Coaches and and “career transition experts” constantly tell job seekers to smile and stay positive. That can create a situation where the job seeker can never tell the truth, never admit her pain or fear, or never vent her frustration. So just listen. Be the safe haven where your friend can honestly open up about what she’s going through.

While you’re listening, be on the alert for negative BS (belief systems). For example, you’re friend my fear that she’s over-qualified for all her positions and that hiring managers fear overqualified candidates will jump ship as soon as the economy improves. If that’s the case, suggest to your friend that smart managers will hire overqualified people and get the most use out of them possible before the economy improves. Smart managers will also hire overqualified people hoping to promote them when the economy improves, after the overqualified candidate has had a chance to see how the job gets done. The best managers can do the job as well as supervise it. Some hiring managers also look at hiring overqualified people as a sort of trial use or sample. They get to test their job description and qualifications against reality, and the candidate gets a chance to prove her value to the company.

People are getting hired. People are finding new jobs every day. It can be hard to see that when you’re job hunting, so remind your friends of it. You may even want to suggest they shift their networking/socializing time to people or groups with a more positive outlook. After all, if you want to soar with the eagles, you can’t spend all your time with turkeys.

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Posted in: Leadership