Don’t be the Turkey at Thanksgiving. Be the Smart, Organized Job Seeker.
So, what are you going to do with that degree of yours?” Asks Auntie Jean with a truly interested look on her face.
“Oh Jeez” you think. “What am I supposed to say to that?”
Uncle Bill on the other hand just inquired, “How’s the job search coming along? Having any luck?”
“Nothing much going on.” You respond weakly. “I’ve had a few interviews, but nothing very exciting.”
If these kinds of questions sound familiar, or you’re dreading going to the family for the holidays because you’re bound to get one or two similar questions, try some of these answers. You’ll be amazed at what happens to their faces:
- With a big smile on your face: “Oh it’s going really, really well. I’m in the research phase of my career search, and so far I’ve decided that I want to focus on either x, y, or z (insert your occupation interests here, and don’t limit to just one – find three). My next step is to set up informational interviews with people in these fields and start networking.”
- With arms flaying around enthusiastically: “I’m now a Senior Volunteer Manager at X Organization. It’s been a fantastic experience because I’ve met so many people and I’ve done a really good job. I’ve also built some amazing relationships and everyone seems so eager to help me find a full-time position, but for now I’m really happy.”
- With a serious look: “You know, I’ve discovered that you can’t find a job online and so I’ve identified 10 companies that I’m looking to explore. I think you know someone at one or two of them. Maybe we can sit down after dinner and chat about it?”
I can pretty much guarantee that any relative will be impressed with any of these answers and that you’ll feel quite confident and happy with after the interaction, rather than skulking off mumbling.
And here are my favorite 3 Networking Tips, because as I say, Networking is Better then Not Working!
- Whenever you’re out in public – even with the family the answer to the question, “How are you?” is, “I’m fantastic – great in fact. Things are going really well.” Because no one wants to talk to a kvetchy, grump, especially one who’s looking for a job. Everyone’s got their own problems. Be the life of the party!
- Have an answer to the basic questions such as, “So what type of job are you looking for?” Struggling to introduce yourself clearly and answer basic questions leaves you sounding ineffective, confused and disorganized, and no-one wants to hire an ineffective, confused and disorganized 22 year old!
- Make a great first impression.
- Hold your head up high and smile.
- Have a firm handshake.
- Research your occupation ideas thoroughly and be able to articulate why you are interested in them.
- Be convincing when you’re out there in public. You never know whom you’re going to run into and “Perception is Reality.” This means that people will judge you immediately.
If all of this sounds easy that’s great. If it sounds intimidating or you have a young adult in your family who’s nervously fidgeting while reading this, have them reach out for a couple of Thanksgiving Prep sessions!