Are You a One-Trick Pony Who Puts All the Eggs in One Basket?

Tools arranged in a toolbox

Yes, this is the cliché edition of The Job Quest ;)

But seriously, a lot of wisdom can be found in clichés when they are applied to the job search:

Don’t be a one-trick pony.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Use all the tools in your toolbox.
Don’t be a one-hit wonder.
Is that all you have in your bag of tricks?

The basic message here is to diversify your job-hunting strategy.

For example, I am a big advocate of networking as part of a job search. However, if your networking consists solely of attending the same professional association meeting month after month, you are significantly limiting the circle of people you could be interacting with (not to mention that you are missing the point of networking). However, if you attend that professional association meeting PLUS:

  • take a seminar to learn about a new development in your industry,
  • attend summer get-togethers with friends and acquaintances,
  • start connecting online via Twitter, LinkedIn, or commenting on industry blogs,
  • volunteer, and/or
  • join a group purely for recreation (try a sports-related activity or a hobby you enjoy)

then you expand the number of people you may meet, thereby increasing the chances that you may connect with a key person.

No, I’m not saying you have to do everything on that list. In fact, you may well come up with a networking event that is not on that short list that fits better with your interests and lifestyle. That’s fine — go for it! The main point is, do more than one thing.

And note in the beginning of the above example that I described networking as “part of a job search.” As much as I encourage interacting with people, it is by no means the only method you should be using as part of your job-hunt strategy. The diversification you bring to your job search shouldn’t just be within one specific activity; it should be in the types of activities you employ in your overall strategy.

Billie Sucher talks about this in a recent blog post where she describes some folks as “hit send” job seekers (job hunters who find positions online and hit send to apply). Can responding to advertised positions get you an interview? Absolutely — and it’s worked for my clients when they have well-crafted résumés and are applying for positions that are good targets.

Should you make that the only method in your job hunt? Certainly, you can do that. But, like networking, how much more effective will your overall strategy be if you use it as one part of your job hunt?

So let me know — has being a one-trick pony worked for you, or do you put your eggs in many baskets? ;)

Image courtesy of Alvin Chua

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