Sometimes when people ask for advice about employment, I’ll suggest they don’t waste time applying for jobs. The process is inefficient as well as frustrating and the chances of success are often very low…
Odd advice you might think. How else do people gain employment?
Back to that in a minute. But my beef is the way the traditional job-hunting process wastes much time and money.
A shrink might conclude my take on waste led me to hitchhiking. No unnecessary money was spent and my carbon zero approach to travel left the ozone layer none the worse. But don’t think I was some kind of evangelical environmentalist. That wasn’t me.
Respect time & money
Like hitchhiking, entrepreneurs quickly recognise time and money must be treated respectfully and cannot be thoughtlessly wasted. Pennies and minutes really matter and if mistreated will kick the abuser hard sometime later. But the entrepreneur also appreciates work rarely walks in the door. Therefore decisions about spending money and time, so that orders are won, need to be made and thus risks taken.
Through the most recent recession entrepreneurs developed many creative methods to find and secure orders and sales. One development has been the array of complimentary offers and free trials which are now commonplace. Just look at digital applications by way of example. Many suppliers provide free goods in the hope that the prospect will test and subsequently pay for something later. This approach is less wasteful than mass marketing and seemingly involves both customer and supplier in the building of a better and more sustainable relationship.
Each year, thousands of students download a free demo copy of the business simulation SimVenture. And hundreds of teachers and trainers request a software evaluation copy and/or 10 test licences. All for free.
Linked to this is the relatively new inbound marketing approach to business. Developed by thought leaders such as Seth Godden, inbound marketing is all about helping customers find your business rather than spending a fortune finding them. This point helps to demonstrate the point of ‘don’t waste time applying for jobs’.
So what can the entrepreneur teach the job hunter?
If you are actively seeking work, you can benefit from the entrepreneur’s creative approach to marketing. So many people are sending out endless CVs and going to job interviews without success. If this is you, I suggest you rethink your strategy so you don’t waste time applying for jobs.
Learn from Ivan Gonzalez
Ivan Gonzalez, a young Mexican, lived in a cramped one bedroom flat in London with his wife. Keen to work in the pharmaceutical industry he wrote endless application letters, attended many recruitment fairs and secured a handful of interviews. But with thousands of people competing in the same space, he never got a job. Apart, that is from being a poorly paid waiter working long shifts, often at anti-social hours.
After a couple of months, Ivan reasoned he was probably wasting his time and money competing directly against other job hunters who might be better qualified or connected. So he stopped writing letters and catching buses and trains. Instead he found a new way to reach his employment goal.
Ivan researched small pharmaceutical companies on the internet and then wrote a personal letter to the bosses (by email) offering his time for free for several weeks. It didn’t take long for one of his target employers to respond. Within little time Ivan had thrown himself into work with a pharmaceutical research agency knowing he had a short time to impress and build the necessary trust.
And the approach worked. Ivan was offered a full-time job by a highly satisfied employer who was delighted to find a hard working, entrepreneurial young man who he knew fitted into the team. As a bonus, the employer hadn’t wasted any time in the recruitment process and certainly had not paid an agency an eye-watering fee to find Ivan.
More than ever, employers are seeking to take on people who demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking. If you can follow Ivan’s lead (so you don’t waste time applying for jobs and thus process yourself through the same gate as everyone else) you’ll streamline your efforts and probably find the kind of job you are seeking, quicker than you think.
Key Learning Points: Don’t waste time applying for jobs if you want to avoid the crowd. Learn from the entrepreneur & offer work for ‘free’ so you can showcase your service. This compelling price & innovative approach gets you noticed. You’re attitude means you are also more likely to be hired longer-term. For more, read this excellent blog post by entrepreneur and careers advisor Penelope Trunk.