You’ve probably heard of the 4P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People (the new P of the Marketing Mix) – variables that are under a firm’s control that can affect the level of demand for the firm’s products.
In today’s competitive job environment, there are equally variables that are under your control as a jobseeker that can determine your success or failure in getting a job. Thus, I have developed what I call the 5p’s of effective job search to help you become more effective in searching and finding the right jobs in Nigeria. You can call them the 5 recipes for success in job search.
This is the foundation of your success in any endeavour, whether you want to build a house, take a vacation, get married, start a project, etc – you must design a plan.
Here are a few tips on how to use planning for your job search.
- Start by researching your career field. Find out the job opportunities around your career path. Know the qualifications, skills, training, etc needed for that job position. Research about the companies that offer the job opportunities that you are looking for. Focus on areas that are less competitive.
- Develop a career plan. After you have done your research, start working on your CV or resume and cover letter. Define your career objectives. Write your career summary. Write your career profile. Do these for different job positions in different companies or organizations. Some people find a job before they prepare a CV. Start early. When you’ve found a job that you wish to apply for, you can then structure your CV to suit the job position or job industry.
- Commit yourself to your plan. Some people have a problem with sticking to their plans and goals. I use to have that problem, but I’ve improved in recent years. You might have developed a career plan, but later you find out that you don’t want to pursue that career direction. That means that you did not plan well for your career. Or you just heard that a particular company (not in your career plan) is currently recruiting and you apply for a job position ill-prepared without planning. The result is usually failure. So strive to stick to your plan and it will work for you.
After you have designed an effective plan for your job search, start preparing for the job test and oral interview. This might sound ridiculous, but your preparation is the key to your success in finding the right job.
Now, I know that this might sound like a University lecturer’s advice: READ, PRACTICE, PREPARE. However, studies have shown that the most prepared students pass examinations while the ill-prepared ones fail. So in order to avoid ‘crash program’ before your job test and oral interview, start preparing now, even if you’ve not sent out one job application.
When you’ve been short-listed for an interview, make sure you research the company and employer in such a way that the interviewer would think you’re a special agent with a secret service. Just kidding!
Prepare your answers to job interview questions well in advance and prepare your questions for the interviewer (Note: If you don’t ask the interviewer insightful questions, he/she would think that you are not a challenging person, so how can you work in a challenging environment?)
Lastly, practice your presentations in front of a friend or family member, and let them give you appraisals.
Yes, you need people. How many? As many as you can meet and talk to. Speak about your job search to people who might help.
Here are a few tips:
- Talk with your friends, family and relatives who are either into the system or who know people in the system.
- Visit career sites where you can find useful information as well as people in your situation.
- Attend career events in Nigeria such as seminars, conferences, etc where you can meet professionals who are in the industry where you are looking for a job. Perhaps they might know people in your industry that they can refer you to. Get their contacts and start calling or emailing them. Always carry your file or folder containing your CVs and other documents you need.
- Network with people in social networking sites such as Facebook. They can be very useful for your job search efforts, only if you use them well.
- Connect with professionals in business networking sites such as LinkedIn. You can find Nigerian recruiters, business professionals, HR practitioners in sites like these.
You have to bring passion into your job search efforts. There are ways that you can be passionate about what you want, right? For instance, to provide sexual pleasure to someone, you need passion. Again, to get sexual pleasure from someone, you need passion. Think about all the other things that you want in life…you need to be passionate to get them. So pursue your job search with passion and let that passion drive you crazy – not literally though!:-)
Focus on the jobs that you have passion, strength, enthusiasm and commitment to do. Whatever you do, avoid being desperate in front of your interviewer. But show enthusiasm for the job and the company. Give them the impression that you have worked so hard to get here, and you need the job position more than the other job candidates. Be fired up and aim to fire them up by using your positive energy, enthusiasm and passion!
Now you’ve planned, prepared and performed, but you haven’t succeeded in finding a job. The whole job process would help you learn patience, if you don’t have that quality. Yes, it can be frustrating! However, patience is a real virtue! Yeah, easy to say, but many people have been waiting for years to find a job, and if you ask them, what has kept them through those years, they’ll answer in one word: PATIENCE.
Although it’s not easy, strive to be patient with your job search efforts and stick to your career plan and goals. Some have waited enough, and have settled for anything that comes their way. That’s sad, because they might not be doing what they really want, or earning the kind of salary that they want. But for some, they feel it gives them the opportunity to learn other things before they move on to their original career plan.
Whatever you feel will work for you, consider it. Someday, you’ll find the right job that suits your career needs.
Photo via Flickr by Marm0ta
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