Five Tips for Playing the (Job Hunt) Game

Black and white close-up of game board

Living in Wisconsin, I am one of many who follow the Green Bay Packers. And this season has been a pretty amazing one. Until Sunday night, that is. Not only did they lose the game, they were trounced. I’m guessing that not many people thought that the highest seeded team would go out in their first playoff game.

But, you know, that stuff happens, just like it does when you are job seeking. There were a few lessons that came to me as a result of that game.

1. Don’t rest on your laurels.

I’m not saying the Pack did this, but they were flying pretty high after going 15-1 in the regular season. It wouldn’t have been unusual if they had already been looking at the NFC Championship game and considering the one before it as a formality. I’m sure many of the fans were.

If you are currently employed but exploring opportunities, it can be very easy to kick back and say, “I’m doing great things in my current job, so it will be easy for anyone to see the value I bring!” The problem with this thinking is that you are focusing too much on yourself and not enough on the unique needs of a company that may be talking to you. If they have to work at figuring out how you can make them better, chances are that they will pass you over for a candidate who makes it easy for them to understand how s/he will help them solve their problems.

2. Don’t assume you’re better than the competition.

Again, I’m not saying the Packers did this (and I highly doubt their coach would let that thinking go unchecked). But again, human nature being what it is, folks tend to make comparisons.

If you find yourself doing this, stop right now! You never fully know what others are bringing to the table, so it’s pointless to artificially inflate your ego this way. Plus, thinking you are better than the others who may be applying for a particular position will lead you to violate tip #1. Don’t trip yourself up this way!

3. Figure out what went wrong.

So you went in to your interview with your head held high, and you came slinking back out because you knew you blew it! Don’t just let the fact that you did badly eat at you — use it as a learning experience.

4. Fix the mistakes.

This one just makes sense. What would be the point of IDing your problem issues if you don’t devise strategies to ensure you get it right the next time? Sometimes fixing the mistakes also means doing a little digging to find out why you screwed up. It’s not always important to get at the “why,” but there are times that it can provide insight that leads to the right solution for you.

5. Be ready to come out and do it all over again.

Just like the Packers have another season to look forward to, you will have another interview. You want to make sure that you are prepared when that opportunity presents itself.

Bonus: Keep the faith!

What’s done is done. You know that you have skills and talents that will benefit employers. Just because you had one setback doesn’t mean that you are doomed to fail from here on out. Following the tips here today will help you play the job hunt game well!

Image courtesy of Sarah Reid

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