Having just returned from a great fishing trip to Canada with my 87-year-old dad, 3 brothers, and my cousin, I could not help but make the connection between finding work and fishing.
#1. Fisherman says: When I get to a new lake I try to find the best place to find fish. It might be a bay with weed beds, logs, a drop-off, or other structure for fish to hide in, but I will know it when I see it.
Job Advice: If you have found success in one industry or type of work and you enjoyed it, that is a GREAT place to start looking. You are familiar with the language and skills required and you probably know people who can help you.
#2. Fisherman says: I’ve found the place, now I need to pick a lure. I always use a Mepps spinner for pike and I love the red & white colors, so that is what I’ll start with.
Job Advice: Initiative. It is not bad to start with what you are most comfortable with but what worked on one lake (or job search) may not work on your next one. If you are comfortable looking for jobs on the internet, go ahead and start there for ideas. The key is to BEGIN now and try something, anything, just DO something.
#3. Fisherman says: Well that didn’t work, I threw that bait at least 50 times. What else is in this tackle box. Hmm…. this one looks good, my daredevil spoon. An old tried and true stand by.
Job Advice: Perseverance is required and you will most likely have to try a number of techniques besides cruising the internet. Your best strategy is to be diverse in your approach. What else do you have in your tool box besides cruising the ‘net’? Maybe connecting with friends and past co-workers?
#4. Fisherman says: Ok, no fish here, I’m moving to a new place. I’ll try another place on the lake that looks good and start over with my Mepps and Daredevil.
Job Advice: Creativity is needed to think about possible jobs that are NOT from the same industry you worked in before but might require similar skills. Take some time to think about the SKILLS you have that might be required in different industries and then talk to everyone you know to see what potential jobs THEY can think of as well.
#5. Fisherman says: Why not just throw my lure over and troll to the next spot? Maybe I’ll catch something along the way by accident.
Job Advice: Serendipity. Sometimes you just need to be open to those chance events in our lives. If you think about your life and some of the times in your life that you “changed direction” or “discovered a job opportunity” you’ll realize it was most likely talking to a person or when you tried something new that the opportunity showed itself. Be open to new ideas and try new things when you are looking for work.
#6. Fisherman says: Well I’ve fished all day and still have not caught anything. I think I will hire a guide tomorrow as I really do not know this lake.
Job Advice: Sometimes you need to find a career coach, advisor, or counselor to help you think about your job search in a different way. Maybe to look at your resume, LinkedIn profile, and the “message” you are sending to potential employers and to give you some new ideas on how to find the elusive job.
Remember there is no harm in asking for advice. Career coaches/advisors are people who have been through this process many times and you may have only been through this a few times. Seek advice, counsel, and be open to their wisdom.
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a weekly email for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
He is the author of A Field Guide for Career Practitioners: Helping Your Clients Create Their Next Move and The Adventure of Finding Me in New Zealand. He is also the recipient of the 2020 Kenneth C. Hoyt Award from the National Career Development Association and the Mid-Atlantic Career Counseling Association’s Professional Contribution’s Award in 2020.
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