Step 1 in Job-Hunting: Block out the Bullshit

So you’ve finally realized it’s officially time to start searching for a new job — good stuff. Whatever your reasons are, it’s time to get started in the process. The next steps in your job-hunt can lead to a long, emotionally-draining, confusing, and all-around totally unpleasant experience — especially if you do it wrong. The first step to making sure you do it right? Block out the bullshit.

The truth is, we at Pronexia have spent years researching, reading, discussing, and engaging with industry professionals — hiring managers, HR professionals, anyone with strong or influential opinions on the job-hunting game — and a LOT of it is not worth the time you might spend reading it. Any basic Google search on job-hunting will be filled to the brim with differing opinions, a billion sources with a billion different ideas and tips on searching for your next job. Unfortunately, the majority of it is flawed, old-school and backwards in mentality, deeply misguided or severely unreflective of the realities of the job market. Hiring practices are different everywhere, across different industries and various cultural specificities, so no single opinion can be worth betting the house (i.e. your job search) on. Your time, efforts, and money are precious, and once you realize you have one foot out the door at your current job, you’ll feel the need to find something new as soon as physically possible. Don’t waste time reading the incredible amount of clichéd, inaccurate, and confusing advice you’ll find online; align your job search in the right way, in the quickest way possible, with the least amount of stress possible.

Here are a few steps to start with:

1. Talk to anyone in your network who’s got it locked down already. Know someone amazing who has got the killer job that you would die to have? Tired of seeing them post uber-cool pictures on social media of them at “launch parties” or travelling to New York for work because, well, you want it to be you? Speak up: chat with them, ask them how they came to that career path, that industry, that company. Ask for referrals, ask if they know any headhunting firms working in the field that are trustworthy, ask if they know anyone hiring. Speak to people you trust, people who have gone through the process before; the months of confusion and headaches they have (likely) already faced in the past are useful for saving you from the same fate; piggyback off them, and get it going quickly.

2. Link up with cool headhunting firms. Truthfully, there aren’t many, and the phrase “cool headhunting firms” might seem like an oxymoron — but there are a few (hint: Pronexia is one of them). Get connected/introduced to them (maybe through someone you know who has already met/worked with them?) and build a relationship with them; not just a quick hookup. If they work with cool clients/companies that align with your interests, if they have strong values and are built on a clearly-evident “no bullshit” mindset, and if they seem like genuine, honest, and good people, then align yourself with them…fully. Trust them: if they took the time to get to know you properly, you can assume they’ll be hooking you up with opportunities that make sense for you. You get what you give in the job-hunt game: invest time in the right firm, and it’ll be returned to you ten-fold in the form of a killer opportunity.

3. Follow through — in every way. Indeed, if you’re going to really do it, do it right: dress up, be on time, smile, have fun, make an impression, be on your game. This stuff seems trivial, but it makes all the difference — hiring managers and recruiters want to leave their interview with you thinking “Wow, that person is damn awesome.” Write back to your emails immediately, follow through with requests, call the headhunting firm after your interview (even if they didn’t ask you to), write thank-you notes to the people you met with. If this is something you truly want, follow through to the end, every step of the way — people will follow through with you, as a result.

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Twitter: Stefano Faustini