06 Jun How do you be a Job Hunter in a crowd of Job Farmers?
We’ve touched on the downsides of being passive job searchers, or in our analogy, job farmers.
Passive job search strategies work when the market conditions are perfect, that means increasing numbers of MNCs, smaller numbers of graduates, no gargantuan shifts in business operations, no drastic technological advancements and no erratic trade policies.
Sad to say, these conditions are no longer common. It is telling from the growing number of millionaires under 30 that the system has been disrupted. In this day and age, you can bypass a corporate system that earlier generations were subjected to and still come out successful.
How do you overcome this?
By being a job hunter.
Taking inspiration from ever-inspiring wildlife documentaries, let’s take a look at how cheetahs, one of the best predators, hunt for their prey:
Here’s a link to enjoy the sheer hunting prowess of the cheetah
A cheetah hunts because it knows it can’t farm
It’s a sobering truth, albeit mildly amusing.
If a cheetah can rely on a farming system for food, it would likely not expend its energy hunting for meals.
If you are still able to survive, through having passive income, previous savings or investments, or having a breadwinner spouse, hunting for a job would not be considered because the incentive is unknown and the effort (and risk) is too much.
Having something to fall back on is assuring, but it’s an obstacle to the growth spurts in your transition from a farmer to a hunter. You will be second guessing your efforts and you can never reach 100%.
Oh, but the cheetah? “If I don’t hunt my food down, I will die. A gazelle would never sprout from the ground. To survive, I need to put all my efforts into hunting.”
The mentality of the predator. The determination of a job hunter.
A cheetah prowls on targeted prey even when there is food aplenty
Have you seen the eyes of the cheetah when it’s on the prowl? Always alert and always watching. Seeking the easy prey. The weak, the young, the old.
A cheetah would not be distracted by the masses right before its eyes. Its energy is focused on the prey he has the highest chances of taking down. It ensures that its energy is conserved and its targets are selective. So should you.
Your time and energy are limited.
You need deep research and an understanding of organisations to know how you can surface your existence, even before pitching your value.
If you are not targeting roles that you have a higher chance of clinching over the mass applicants or engaging a career coach that will constantly motivate you and help you stay on track, you are just exhausting yourself.
And don’t get distracted by the most favoured industries of the year or the trendiest tool for job search, they are irrelevant if the job description doesn’t make sense to you.
A cheetah relies on his instincts to trip its prey
Using “precision stalking”, a cheetah attacks at the most opportune moment. It lays low when it’s premature, improvises on the situation and makes a decision to strike only when the moment feels right.
In the corporate world, many business and sales personnel also make such instinctive decisions. But for employees who mostly manage, your instincts may have become rusty with the overuse of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) at work.
What do you do without an SOP?
How do you assess if your job strategies are successful? What do you do when there are no predecessors to guide you? Do you know where to sniff for solutions?
A career coach may guide you initially, but these are skills and instincts that you need to develop to increase your own career capital over the long run.
A cheetah understands its own strengths and weaknesses
A cheetah will not hunt like a lion. A lion may not outrun a cheetah, but it can use its sheer power and weight to force a prey to surrender.
A cheetah’s greatest strength is speed at 100km/h from 0 to 4sec, but it’s a sprinter and has weak stamina. It cannot give chase to a gazelle for too long and needs to ensure that its prey is taken down in a short span of time. Interestingly, the cheetah catches up to the gazelle and uses its front paw to trip it before going in for the kill.
Each predator has to take advantage of its unique strengths, resulting in different hunting strategies.
Do you know your own unique strengths?
You may be targeting the same organizations as other worthy candidates, but the clearer you are about your own brand of superpower and how you articulate your that value to the organization, the higher your chances of standing out and sealing the deal.
You can identify your strengths and weaknesses either by conducting a personality test or having a career coach personally run you by personality profiling tools. These tools help the career coach surface your uncovered potential, and then work closely together with you to integrate these findings in an efficient job hunting strategy.
A cheetah improvises each kill from its hits and misses
The lessons learnt during a cheetah’s lifetime of every kill helps him to perfect his craft.
Even an inexperience cheetah makes the mistake of chasing the nearest gazelle that comes his way. All it takes is a change in the way you learn, and you can proactively improvise from each learning experience.
Many learn by consuming knowledge and with a great tool like the internet, you can learn through blogs, Google, YouTube videos and even a structured online course.
These are great sources of information, but to be a job hunter, you learn best by taking action.
Take action – Process – Improvise
(Rinse and repeat)
Building your experience in resume customization, mock interviews with career coaches, pitching during networking or public speaking practice will help you gain insights on recurring job search patterns while building confidence.
The myriad of new knowledge to absorb can easily overwhelm you while trying to improvise a job hunt strategy. A career coach is vital to ensure that you make sense of the ever-changing job landscape and provide a perspective that is in your best interests.
The transition from a job farmer to a job hunter is not easy and it calls for a total paradigm shift, constant learning, and perseverance. Paradoxically, simply acquiring job hunting skills alone will not enable you to become a better job seeker. It is, however, through acquiring those skills and attitudes that eventually turns you into a bonafide job hunter.
No one but you can decide what kind of job seeker you want to be. You can make the choice today to turn around your job searching fate by starting to groom a new set of job hunting skills.
Have you decided to switch to be a job hunter?