As the ambassador for an Expats and Local community in Trinidad and Tobago, I get several emails from members of my community asking me for assistance in searching for a job. I would usually tell them to go through all the national newspapers everyday or to check out caribbeanjobs.com for job opportunities, but then I realized that I needed to expand on my advice to them.
If you have been searching for a job for the last couple of months, don’t give up. I remember when I was in my 20’s looking for a job, whilst still enjoying the luxury of living in my parents’ house, it was months before I got a response from a newspaper ad that TELCO at the time, had published, looking for an Executive Secretary to the Corporate Secretary. I had sent out numerous letters to companies and I was getting ready to send out even more when the letter arrived.
To assist you in your search, here are some questions to guide you in troubleshooting your job search:
Are you positioning yourself appropriately? Perhaps you have been going for jobs that are too junior or too senior. Maybe prospective employers don’t clearly understand the scope and scale of your past roles. Ensure that your experience as it is described is relevant to the jobs you are pursuing. You should also look at your personal training and check to see if there maybe some courses that would assist you in getting the job of your choose.
Is your marketing complete? Some jobseekers overwork their resume but then don’t have an updated online profile. Many recruiters today, are using social media, especially LinkedIn to seek out prospective employees. Check out LinkedIn profiles of professional who are part of your network to see how they have drafted their profiles. In today’s world, if you don’t have an online presence, your job search marketing is incomplete. I have received several offers from people who have viewed my profile and indicated that they were interested in me.
Are you spending too much time on recruiters and job postings? Recruiters and job postings are still necessary but you cannot rely on these alone. It is important to network among your friends, family and to put yourself out there. One way is to talk to people that you may meet whilst out liming with friends etc. Most importantly, print some personal call cards with your name, profession and contact number and give it to people that you meet. How else are they going to be able to contact you? You may be pleasantly surprised…
Do you have 3-4 key message points? You need to stop providing too much details in your cover letters, networking pitch and interview responses. People make up their mind quickly so be concise. Get the important information out early and cut out the rest. In your networking pitch and interview responses, make sure that you are in a positive frame of mind and solution mode. I personally, get very turned off in conversation with someone, when I ask questions about certain issues, and all I get is why it can’t be done. Next……
Do you have a process to stay on track long-term? You know the saying: If you want 100 persons to turn up to an event, you have to invite 10,000.00 people. Many jobseekers do a lot in their first week, maybe the second but then lose heart. Looking for a job is a marathon. Therefore, you have to send out as many letters as you can. The selection process takes time, (imagine my surprise when I received the letter from TELCO, months later, asking me to come in for an interview) and you need to continue your search across multiple fronts. Make sure you have a routine for following up with the HR departments in the respective companies, for organizing your search information, for preparing for interviews and meetings, and most of all, staying refreshed, motivated and positive.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mail your letters: PO Box 5145, St. James
I am never surprised to learn that successful people are lifelong learners. They are always availing themselves to the quantum of information that is available especially on the internet. Publishing Houses have tapped into the use of the internet to post newspapers, magazines, newsletters, in particular a wide variety of books. People who recognize that “knowledge is power” tend to have a great advantage over people who don’t have the knowledge.
Successful people like myself are usually teachers. How many people in your circle, do you know will sit with you and pass on the knowledge that they have picked up along the way? Think about it. Have you ever given thought of being a teacher and passing on the experiences that you have learnt, whether it is to a colleague, family member, friend or total stranger? Yogi Bhajan says “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” You don’t need a degree to pass along your knowledge.
Below are 4 easy ways to be a teacher:
Being – You can teach others by simply BE-ing who you are. Whether it’s demonstrating grace under pressure, fearlessly pursuing your goals, or simply existing in a place of love and joy. Just being yourself can be one of the most powerful ways of teaching. My queue to start teaching is when people ask me the question, how do you do it?
Sharing – A simple conversation or passing comment can contain a nugget of wisdom that can change the way people perceive their life. People sometimes limit what they’ll share with others for fear of overstepping their bounds, being too personal, being ridiculed or some other reason. Be guided by your instincts, if you feel a need to share something with someone. The greatest gift you can give someone is a gift of empowerment and love. What could be more empowering than helping others get free of their limiting beliefs and sharing the nuggets of wisdom to help others create the life they truly want or to just be aware? For example, how many people know that banks are using TransUnion of Trinidad and Tobago to get credit reports on customers for loans applications or that if you don’t pay your post-paid cellphone bill on time, that your name is automatically submitted to TransUnion as a delinquent customer, which will affect your credit score?
Mentoring – In Jack Canfield book, The Success Principles, he outlines a Success Principle called “Find a Wing to Climb Under.” Find someone who you admire and have respect for and can learn from. If you want to achieve a goal, it helps to learn from someone who has already successfully walked the path that you are about to take. I am a great believer in not reinventing the wheel. When you achieve your goals, you can consider mentoring others as they pursue the goals you’ve already achieved. I, personally get a great sense of satisfaction when I am able to mentor others. Encourage others to use this method to help their family members and friends.
Offer your services – One of the major benefits of teaching is that it helps you to develop a deeper understanding and mastery of any topic. In order to share what you’ve learnt, you have to clarify your ideas, confront inconsistencies in your own thinking, and more importantly walk your talk. Last but not least, teaching requires you to read, study and speak the information repeatedly, which reinforces your own learning.
Successful people often teach from a place of service. They know that the information they have may be exactly what someone else may need, at that point in his/her life and they are contributing greatly to the success of that individual and to the world.
Send your letters: PO Box 5145, St. James