Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pivot


It only takes a few days of sitting in front of the computer and searching through jobs to begin feeling disheartened. I get up in the morning and go to Indeed to search for jobs posted in the metro area in the past 24 hours. Apparently, there have been 5,806 new jobs posted. How am I supposed to cull through 5,806 job postings?! Okay, so I narrow my search. . . let’s see. . . how about I look for jobs with the word “communication” in them? Alright! That brings it down to 1,931 postings. Not exactly manageable, but it’s a start. 

My next filter is to choose everything except “Retail.” It’s not that I don’t like working retail, I really enjoyed most aspects of it when that was my job, but I’d really like something with more mainstream hours. Pulling out the retail jobs got the listings down to 858. Now what? How am I supposed to sort through over 800 jobs to find ones that truly interest me?

Are you tired yet? Imagine doing this every single day. Search. Narrow. Refine. Search some more. Until your search results are only 240. Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome that the job market is booming. Theoretically, that means fewer people are unemployed. However, for someone who is looking for employment it is quite wearisome. 

Currently, I am working as a substitute teacher. While it is something I (mostly) enjoy, it is far from steady work. When the school is closed (holidays, breaks, teacher work days, etc.) there is no work. And, I would really like to put my creativity to use. However, do you have any idea how difficult it is to get an interview for a creative job when you have no work history in the field? It may not be impossible, but it’s right next door to it.

After spending days of searching, applying, hoping maybe somebody would be willing to give me a chance, my husband reminded me of a podcast we had both heard earlier this summer. Tim Ferriss was interviewing Adam Robinson, who is a fascinating and highly intelligent man. About five minutes into this interview Adam says,

“ ‘If you’re not getting the results you want, change what you’re doing.’ You’d think that would be obvious. You’d think people, of course, would change. They would pivot, but they don’t. They do more of the same. They double down on what they’ve already done. They try harder.”

After going back and listening to this podcast again, this morning I decided to pivot. As a matter of fact, I made an acronym out of it and then I put it into action:

P- Project your desired outcome
I- Inventory what you have been doing
V- Voice the change you are going to make
O- Outline your change
T- Take action

After coming up with this acronym, I followed my own (and Adam’s) advice. 

P- I want a job utilizing my skills in communication — writing, speaking, listening, and learning — and my experience in management, teaching, and customer service. I want to be able to sit in front of an interviewer and ask them to just give me a chance. I have so much to offer!
I- see the above post for all the details of what I’d been doing
V- I told my husband what I am doing (voicing it gives me accountability)
O- I wrote down what I am doing (writing it makes it real)
T- The action I took was to research what companies I would like to work for (what do they do? what is their mission? what are their values?) then I applied for jobs. I also let the HR director know that, "even though I’m applying for Job X, I really want to work for your organization and if there is a different job you feel is better suited to me, please consider me for that."

Maybe this still won’t get me an interview, but at least I am doing something different. I am not scrolling through endless lists of jobs and hoping I can find a job I would like to do at a company I would like to work for. 

Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it goes.