Sunday, August 23, 2015

Overcoming Resistance

Anyone who’s looked for a job, especially within the last 5 years, has encountered significantly more obstacles and limitations than in the past, erected by the very people and organizations that claim to be looking for the best available talent. This is frustrating, especially if you are a self-reliant person, who prefers to do more than register and submit to on-line processes. It can seem as if the more you attempt to help yourself the more you find yourself hitting a virtual wall.
Regardless of your qualifications and experience, if you don’t get noticed or seen it doesn’t much matter, you’ll find your resume piled with those who aren’t even remotely qualified until someone might get around to you.

No doubt to be successful in this very competitive job market requires more “sticktoitiveness” (yeah, that’s a real term, look it up) and dedication than ever. The dilemma is that if you attempt to do anything more than what is prescribed by the gate keepers, which is to primarily submit online and then wait; you’re likely to draw their ire. They’d prefer you sit and wait patiently like a good and obedient poodle, with no clue as to when or if you will hear from them.

If you want to follow the rules, no problem, and you can wait until someone decides it’s your turn. However, if you don’t like to sit idly by, but rather seek to make your own luck and optimize your chances for success, you’ll have to take things up a notch or two.

Years ago, when being proactive and assertive was a valued trait, I was taught that when you encounter resistance you have three choices: 1) relent and walk / run away 2) power through it and count the costs later, win or lose or 3) side-step and go around it, find another way forward. I prefer the third option, no stress; just find a way around in order to get through to my goal. In this case the goal is to find the actual hiring manager.

You can still apply online if you wish through the proper and mandated channels, but then, take some initiative; take some liberties, be a little selfish for your own good.

Most people, when they choose to be, are pretty clever and resourceful online. Likewise, most people know the title or the position of the person within a company or organization to whom they’d likely report, or the title of a local or regional manager. Most information you need can be found online, otherwise, you can exercise some cleverness and call to try to learn who you should aim to find. Find a way to introduce yourself to a potential hiring manager directly; it might mean reaching out to and talking with their admin assistant – again no problem, be nice to them and they may be more helpful to you.

Whether you seek to go voice direct with them or by email, you’ll make a more notable impact than if you send your resume through a black hole/bottomless pit of a portal and do nothing more. The worst that can happen is they’ll re-route you back through to HR – no problem and beg their pardon, no harm, no foul. The best that can happen – and it does more often than you may think, is that they’ll establish a dialogue with you even if they direct you back to HR; you’re noticed and possibly notable.

I suggest that you are better served researching and contacting 10 companies this way, than to frivolously shotgun 100 resumes to places you won’t even remember a week after the fact.

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