I ran across an article the other day about a woman in Indiana who, out of frustration, is doing something radically different to get noticed. Having experience, a degree, and responding to job postings hasn’t worked, so she is planning to stand on a street corner with a sign!
I’m guessing there is more to the story than the article provides, but a couple of things grabbed my attention.
- She is quoted saying she does most of her job hunting on Sundays when the new jobs are posted. This is the traditional process. The wait for postings, apply, repeat approach. Job seekers should do some of this, but those efforts need to be balanced against non-traditional methods like networking to tap into positions that aren’t posted. Responding to postings on job boards should be 10-20% of the time you spend. Go ahead and do that on Sunday if you like – but the rest of the week is wide open for making new connections.
- She is frustrated about not finding work despite a degree and experience. It seems strange, but that’s the way things are now. A degree and experience just aren’t enough. They are “order qualifiers”, meaning they let you play the game, but they aren’t “order winners” that get you the job. Instead you need to be able to clearly state what you have done and the results you achieved. All of your efforts need to highlight results and accomplishments. “I created a marketing campaign for a major client that generated over $5MM in revenue” is a far cry from “I have ten years of experience.”
- The sign idea is pretty creative, but it’s a long shot. A lot of things have to line up just right for it to work. Are there other ways to be creative that might be more effective? I am curious if the type of work she has done in the past is better served on a contract or freelance basis versus a traditional job. What about marketing herself on a project basis to get some quick wins?
I am treading lightly here, because I don’t know the whole story and my intention is to help others in the same situation (not to put one specific person down)….so if it isn’t clear – I know it’s tough out there!
Would you stand on a corner with a sign to get your next job? Do you think she will be successful?