Does the phrase “jobless recovery” ring true for you as you search for that next logical career opportunity? Allow me to share my perspective on this topic and perhaps catapult you toward the rewarding and purposeful career/life that you deserve.
Unfortunately given the current state of the economy this statement is closer to fact than fiction. However, it doesn’t always tell the whole story. As one Executive said recently “even the companies that are downsizing are hiring selectively.” If one doesn’t market himself or herself directly to the individual that can make those decisions one will never know for sure.
So why not go Beyond Networking™ directly to the decision maker in order to secure the interview? This approach is certainly challenging these days but if done professionally and in earnest, can prove very beneficial.
Rejection abounds when undertaking the task of making “cold calls” on one’s own behalf just as it does in professional sales. But, put in perspective you are selling your most qualified candidate (you) to those who would benefit greatly from you particular skills. Working with a Career Coach can help re-enforce those strengths and can instill a certain confidence that otherwise may not be so evident. The concept of believing in oneself is probably understating the obvious, but when encountering overwhelming rejection one has a tendency to question his or her own self worth. That’s why a support mechanism such as a Career Professional may be the way to go. Still, be prepared for it and don’t take it personally.
Let’s examine the many possible underlying themes of the “there are no openings” objection. Of course it could mean literally that there are no openings. But you probably already knew that if you did your homework and perused the company’s web site. They posted no opportunities in your field of expertise.
But could it really mean that there are no openings unless you convince me to create one. That’s right; create one! Why would they do that? I contend that if you persuade a hiring Executive that you can drastically improve the company’s bottom line, the rest could logically follow; they get promoted because of your initiative therefore improving their lot in life, they reap the obvious financial benefits and their work lives would be made much simpler. While it takes a well constructed effort to sell your way into a position, if coached properly, it can happen.
Perhaps what they mean is that there are no vacant positions for someone who is “looking for a job.” Although reality; the perception in the marketplace of one who is out of work and looking is detrimental. It becomes a matter of semantics. There is “looking for a job” and there is “seeking an opportunity to contribute to the bottom line success of a business entity.” Again perception!
Maybe the person on the other end of the phone is busy at the time of your call and tells you there are no openings. It’s entirely possible what they really mean is that at the moment they can’t deal with this intrusion and you should get off the phone. Think about it!
Should you pursue what could be considered a dead end? Conventional wisdom suggests you may spend your time more wisely. Don’t chase ghosts! Well, how will you ever know if the interview is worthwhile unless you go?
Let’s explore the potential outcome of a powerful presentation of your qualifications. Could the interviewer refer you to a colleague or friend that may need your talent at his or her place of employ? Assuming “there are no openings,” might there be turnover on the horizon? Things change quickly in today’s competitive environment. If you impressed, your name catapults to the top of the Hiring Executive’s list. Sending a resume or giving up on securing an interview will not produce the desired outcome.
How about practice? If you’ve been gainfully employed for a number of years and haven’t had to seek a new career, you may want to hone your interviewing skills. It’s not a natural occurrence in everyday life.
Worst case scenario, after a successful interview that goes nowhere you’ll need to ask; “with your knowledge and experience in the industry, surely you could point me in the right direction.” In my professional opinion, it’s a win.
Remember also if someone is willing to see you, chances are something you said via the phone triggered a positive impulse.
How to Respond
The onus is on you to secure the interview by emphasizing your impact on the bottom line at your previous place of employment. Even doing so may prompt the “no openings objection.” I recommend that even before making the call, you take for granted that there are no opportunities available. But try “I understand, while doing my homework I found nothing posted on your web site. However, the reason for the call is to introduce myself as someone who can, if given the opportunity; increase sales… reduce project turnaround time… improve customer satisfaction… save money… etc.”
Close, Close, Close
As I’ve said before the three most important aspects of an interview are; 1. Close, 2. Close, 3. Close. On the interview for all of the reasons outlined. I’m afraid if you truly believe that there are no openings and surrender to that mind set, you may be omitting that next logical career opportunity.