Hunting in the Jungle

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my! No, it’s not that kind of hunting and this jungle is anything but green. This jungle is shaded more like a prison complex: varying shades of gray, brown, black and white. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m referring to the asphalt jungle we call Dallas-Fort Worth. As for hunting, I don’t quite have the luxury of exercising my primal instincts for food or fun; I’m job hunting.

Most people hate job hunting. It’s an exercise that is greatly linked to varying degrees of stress which are exasperated by ones lack of monetary resources. Let’s not even mention the rejection letters, unreturned voice-mails, emails or my verbal favorite, “I’m sorry, your just over qualified for the position”. Yes, there are truly many reasons to loathe the search. Some days it can feel like your stalking buffalo without the bow and arrow (or even the horse).Dallas

In reality, job hunting is just a numbers game. You send out so many resumes and you get so many phone calls back. Out of those phone calls, a percentage will result in interviews and then, finally, a job offer or two will roll in. Job hunting is really less like hunting and more like math. Mathematically speaking, there are many things one can do to increase the odds.

I would estimate that about 80% of a job search is dependent upon attitude. In the same way that women are attracted to confident, positive men, employers are attracted to positive and confident candidates. If you so much as exhale a breath of your demoralized outlook on life then the odds are greatly stacked against you. Nobody wants to hire (or date) ‘Oh woe is me’. If you’ve got issues, drop them on your doorstep in the evening; you can step on them when you leave.

Job hunting is not really comparable to hunting at all. In fact, it’s probably more analogous to compare it to a hostage negotiation (sans the threat of death). You have something I want; I have something you want. When you fail to understand what you bring to the table it not only affects your attitude, it crushes your assertive ability to discuss those things which need to be discussed up front in an interview. The employer is not just interviewing you, you’re interviewing them as well.

Further more, never ever ever ever ever kill a business relationship unless it’s ethically needed. Do good for those recruiters even when they can’t find you work and they’ll always call you first when something fits your resume. Your success in job hunting will always remain proportionate to the quality of your business relationships. Burning bridges and burying hatchets are rarely good ideas.

Now at one time or another we’ve all had to take unwanted jobs out of financial necessity. None the less, the same points apply. When you apply these points correctly, it’s all numbers game that works in your favor (kinda like counting cards in Black Jack). Have fun along the way; meet people, socialize and expand your circle. Before long you’ll find it’s less like hunting and more like picking fruit from a tree.

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