By Dave Hutchinson
Ezra is looking for a job. He has experience with a wide variety of security-related companies. He has looked in the newspaper and checked with his friends. It seems that he is always just a day late. The jobs are all taken. What can he do? Is it possible that he has talked himself out of work? Let’s consider the language we use when it comes to finding work.
We use terms like ‘job seeking’, ‘job hunt’, ‘and job search’. Could we be more positive?
Those expressions used above convey a misconception: It sounds too easy. After all, finding a job is easy. Getting the job is another matter.
The word ‘pursuit’ conveys more action, energy, focus.
Consider these examples: seeking a hidden treasure; searching for a lost set of keys; house hunting. All three of these may have a sense of urgency because of the situation. None tells us about the object or target of the search, hunt, or looking. They are all very general.
“There’s a treasure out there somewhere.” Or, “I don’t know where my keys are, but I’m looking for them.” Or my favorite is my little brother saying, “I’m waiting for work”. Really? While you sit at home watching cartoons? Is someone going to come knocking on your door with a job? Stop me before I write another book!
Now think about things that pursue. Imagine a sniper. If the target is moving, the sniper can’t aim at the target. He must aim ahead of it. Predatory animals do this instinctively. Some rifles calculate everything for you and tell you where to aim.
Our target is a career.
Our aim needs to be in front of it because things are always changing. We want a job with a ‘forward-moving’ company. So, let’s consider changing our language. Consider what we can do with the word “pursue”.
The question is: How can I ‘aim ahead’ of the job I want?
One way is to consider the future. Many of us are on the edge of the baby boomer generation. To us, life without technology would be ideal. The companies today—including executive protection and bodyguard companies—are up-to-date. We need to ‘get ahead’ by being technologically competent, if not expert.
The paper resume may not be dead, but the buzzards are definitely circling. If you are totally computer illiterate, there are many opportunities to learn basic computer skills. Some classes are free; others are offered when you buy a computer. Take a class. This will get you started as you move forward with technology.
Once you have figured out how to go on the internet, you will find that many companies prefer electronic resumes. If you are reading this online, you are already well past this stage. Now, let’s assume that you have put your resume out there in cyberspace.
Do research on one company. Find a company you want to work for. Go to their website. When there, notice what their slogan is. Analyze the company’s ‘mission statement’. Now, write a letter. In that letter, use the keywords you noted in the mission statement. Now, you have their attention. You are catching up with them.
If you have heard or read any news about this company, your letter can explain how you can fill a need. You also have special skills that would be a benefit to this company. Of course, you have to be telling the truth. This is called a ‘target letter’. So, you have been observing the activity of this company, and now are prepared to offer them something they need. That need is where you are aiming.
Just a gentle reminder: Letters are not text messages, so it’s in your best interest to use Standard English.
When you go on the interview, look like you already work there. If this company prefers clean shaven men, then shave off your beard.
Who wants to tell someone they have too many piercings in their nose? Young men who wear ‘sag’ style pants do well to leave them at home and find a nice suit.
So, little brother, get off the couch and pursue your career! Ezra, stop looking, and start pursuing!