If you were stranded indefinitely on a deserted island, which survival tool would you choose?
A) Wooden fishing spear
B) Commercial fishing net
When considering these options, it probably dawns on you that the spear is a time intensive weapon that restricts you to catching one fish at a time... and not only that, but you also need to know where the fish are, have infinite patience, and strike with precision at just the right moment. The net, on the other hand, empowers you to catch dozens of fish at a time without expending vital energy. You simply reel it in and select which catch to prepare for dinner. Therefore, the obvious answer here is the commercial fishing net.
As a job search coach, I’ve found that the spear vs. net question is the most accurate analogy for explaining how most people approach job searching vs. how they should be looking for new opportunities. Let me explain what I mean.
When it comes to looking for a job, most people rely on the inefficient spear approach—meaning they work exponentially harder than needed to land a single, potential opportunity. These job seekers are generally following conventional wisdom that leads the public to believe that the best way to find a new job is to invest countless hours browsing job boards, reading generic job descriptions, editing the results of faulty resume-parsing technology, and engaging with human resources departments.
Of course, it doesn’t take long to experience the shortcomings and frustrations that result from this sort of high effort/low return approach. In fact, every job seeker I’ve ever met can recall multiple jobs for which they were a perfect match but were evidently screened out for unknown reasons, countless unreturned emails to HR departments, and more than a few conversations with recruiters who followed up 3 months after the interview only to say they decided to freeze their hiring initiative.
So, if an ambitious job seeker wishes to avoid the wooden spear approach, what exactly is the job searching equivalent of the commercial fishing net? Well, first and foremost, it’s an approach that avoids online applications, recruiters and headhunters altogether. In using this strategy, job seekers focus on engaging with hundreds of influential decision makers each week, letting their professional branding and messaging identify interested parties, and cultivating direct relationships with the hiring managers who have the authority to bring them into an organization.
With this in mind, let’s revisit the original question but in slightly altered form: If you were looking for a new job opportunity, which approach would you choose?
A) An approach that limits you to a single published job (which may or may not be your ideal opportunity) and forces you to compete with thousands of equally qualified professionals with similar education and experience.
B) An approach where you build long-lasting relationships with business leaders who understand and appreciate what you bring to the table, have the necessary influence to add you to their organization and who stand to directly benefit from your contributions.
Well, unless your goal is to become a professional job seeker, I hope the obvious choice is option B! And by the way, it’s important to note that even if option B doesn’t immediately yield a job offer, these engagements can nevertheless materialize into future customers, business partners and career advancement opportunities for many years to come.
At MeetYourGig.com, we specialize in the commercial fishing net approach to job searching. Our team has always believed that there’s a smarter, faster, and more reliable way to connect top talent with great companies. Over the past several years, we conducted countless interviews with CEOs, HR executives, hiring managers, recruiters, and search firms to learn everything there is to know about job boards, career fairs, recruiting technology, and the methods employers rely on to attract and evaluate candidates. Leveraging these insights, as well as best practices from the career services space, we tested and validated and actionable solutions with thousands of business leaders and executives.
Is today the day you learn how to fish with a net?
Take our FREE Career Boost Accelerator Course and discover the strategy that enabled 1,000+ business leaders to generate 20,000+ meetings with influential executives, secure 2,500+ target jobs/clients and boost cumulative income by $12,500,000+ in 3 years. This comprehensive step-by-step guide includes detailed examples and validated case studies to ensure you get superior results.