Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Do You Eat An Elephant? Page 2

Why Is Job Search Like A Marathon?

Like it or not, a job search is a marathon - it takes a long time. And just like a marathon, the quality of your final results, the speed you are able to get to the finish line, and the pain (or lack of pain) of the effort is determined by how well you prepare.

What do you think happens when a candidate is prepared for a sprint, but ends up with a marathon? Pain. frustration, fear, and an increased risk that they can’t reach the goal - the finish line ... or a good job.

Unfortunately, most candidates are prepared for a sprint - it’s what they are used to. Most first time marathon runners don’t realize the amount of preparation needed to accomplish a marathon. Just like most job seekers don’t recognize the amount of preparation they will need to find their next job.

In prior job markets, there was an over supply of jobs and shortages of qualified candidates, which made sprints out of job searches - but not today. So past experience in job search doesn’t translate well into the realities of today’s job market.

For example, most management level candidates I talk to expect their job search to last an average 3 months - because that’s the longest they can imagine that a job search might last based on prior job markets. Yet, today’s job market has different realities - 6-9 months for managers. 9-12 months for senior managers & executives, even longer for a company President/CEO. CareerBuilder recently published that the job market improved to a 30 week search length for the average candidate.

While some people might be able to run a sprint with no preparation - it’s impossible to run a marathon if you haven’t taken the steps to prepare. It’s not just that you’d take a long time to complete a marathon if your prior preparation consisted of your TV’s remote control or your Wii. Without preparation, it’s impossible to complete a marathon - not even if you walked the entire 26.2 miles.

Candidates who attempt job search without preparation experience comparable pain.

( Continued ... So How Do You Eat An Elephant, and what does it have to do with your job search? )

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