“He (A lawyer) who represents himself as a fool for a client.”
In my many years of doing recruiting, there have been a ridiculously few number of people who have ably represented themselves in their job search. Even the ones who claim victory and found positions have made mistakes that have proven costly.
Within a few weeks or a few months, many people have called me up frantically telling me about the mistake that they made in their search that is prompting them to look for another job shortly after joining the current one.
I remember the story of one, and IT project manager, who joined a very well-known firm in New York. He was set up for failure before he even joined. When he called me, he was despondent.
“I was with my previous firm for seven years before joining this firm. There was one question I didn’t ask a came back to haunt me. After coming on board, I discovered that 80% of the money budgeted for the project I took over had already been spent and only 20% of the work had been done. There was no way I can complete the remaining 80% of the work when it was due given the previous remarks.”
For you less experienced people who don’t think this can ever happen to you, I’ll share the story of Jason who joined the firm at a great salary plus projected bonus and, a few months later, discovered that his future boss had created the conditions for 100% turnover every three months.
“I don’t know what I was thinking. I should’ve realized that the people who interviewed me, every single one of them, had been with the firm for six weeks or less. That should have been a signal of problems.”
I frequently referred to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers,” as being a reason why job hunters need help. After all, if being a master requires 10,000 hours of dedicated experience under the direction of an expert, I have rarely met the job hunter who has anywhere near that experience looking for work. You may be extraordinary at what you do for living, but you are out of your depth when job hunting.
Now before you think this is going to be a treatise about why you should work with recruiters to represent you, it isn’t. I do believe recruiters can help; after all, firms have higher them to find talent and they have developed expertise in representing those firms. However, protests the contrary, since they are hired and paid by those firms, they represent them and not you. They may teach you certain things along the way, but they are not there to, “yet you a job.” They are there to fill jobs for their clients.”
For you as “the babe in the woods,” “the rube,” “the bumpkin,” “the mark,” because you have a fool for a client, you are set up for failure or “accidental victory.”
Although I’m sure many of you will point to successes you’ve had with your search, if you are honest, you also point to all the resumes you sent out they went nowhere, all the interviews you went on for which you never receive feedback, all the anguish that you went through at different times of your job search.
You conduct your job search like an amateur boxer who has never trained in only been in the ring for a few club fights fighting Ali is during his prime for the title. You may throw a lucky punch, but the odds are very good for you, are they?
Using this example, you need to practice with someone who knows what they are doing. You need the practice with someone who can train you to go the distance.
All the greats have people focused on them, coaching them to victory. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal all had Phil Jackson coaching. Ali had Angelo Dundee in his corner. Michael Jackson, Madonna and Barbra Streisand as clients.
Who’s looking out for you? Who have you hired who only has your best interests at heart?
Oh yeah. The fool.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2016
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.