Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Marcia Heroux Pounds, business writer and editor for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Marcia’s column in my local news is a must-read. I’ve had the privilege of being quoted several times in her workplace articles and today she shares a subject near and dear to my heart – job search advice.
If you’re in HR, you know how to find a job. After all, you’ve often been in the position of hiring people yourself.
Consider Martha, a 50-year-old HR director who lost her job in 2008. She first used the tried-and-true method to find a job: She contacted everyone she knew in the industry, including recruiters in her field, selected target employers and found connections within those companies.
But she soon found it wasn’t enough, as I write in my newly published book, I Found a Job!, Career Advice from Job Hunters Who Landed on Their Feet. “You have to sell yourself, market yourself,” she said. “To me, that was a very new concept.”
So Martha worked to arrive at a clear understanding of what she brings to the table and what she wanted at this point in her career. She decided her new employer should hold certain values: “If results trump everything else, I wasn’t looking for that. I wanted to work in a place where results and behaviors are important,” she says in the book.
This is the process that led to her job offer:
- Determine your values. What did she want and need from an employer?
- Tap your existing network of contacts, but also find new ones through LinkedIn and HR groups.
- Learn to communicate how skills are transferable to a different industry.
- Stay flexible about the potential employer’s industry and job location.
- Be patient through a long interview process.
After a long search, her new job opportunity finally came through a recruiter. She had 14 interviews before being offered her new HR job. Martha says she was appreciative of the extensive interview process: “It allowed for both parties to dig deep,” she says, in I Found a Job!
Martha says her career transition forever changed her perspective about human resources work. She recognizes now how important it is to her to work for a company where employees are “energized, engaged, and they understand the business,” she says. “There’s an understanding about what employers and employees both get out of the relationship.”
Thanks to Marcia for sharing Martha’s story. As a HR pro, this is something we can all relate to – just because we’ve done the recruiting function doesn’t mean we understand what’s it’s like to be a job seeker right now. For more insights, check out Marcia’s new book, I Found a Job!, published by JIST, which is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.0