Job Search: It’s Not an Event, It’s a Lifestyle


04:04 Dyson:     The whole resume writing thing last started, I started to get a little bit bigger when my brother-in-law came to me and said, “Hey, you should start a company, this is should be your name” and I said, “Cool, okay”. So I started doing that and I start to study more about how to be a better resume writer and social networking started to make it possible for me to connect and reach out to a lot of people at the time. So as I was beginning to perfect that art, which I consider art at the time anyway, that it was really important for me to have a great network. So, I reached out to a bunch of folks, started writing a blog, within time started to get traction, but that blog wasn’t the one that I write on now that I was on for about ten years. I decided to start another one called “The Voice of Job Seekers” because of the advice that I had been given on one article, one reader sent me a note saying “You are truly the voice of job seekers” I said, “hmm, maybe”. And there are some other people that came my way after really starting that blog that’s what really attracted people. I’m not going to say that I had this massively huge popular blog, in fact, it wasn’t popular in that particular sense but apparently, people started taking heed to my advice, and what I wrote started getting some attention that way.

05:45 Monique:     So, you know, in job search space, and that what you know now to be true, what are a couple of trends you see changing the job search game?

05:56 Dyson:     The job search is no longer this one thing, it’s not physical therapy where it’s just the body and you in some sense and even a physical therapist and one of the things I did in that interim time as well is that I got a personal training certification that costs a lot of money and a lot of time but one of the things that, you know, it matters in life, the lifestyle whether you’re, do you sit a lot? Or do you move around a lot? And that’s part of all those, you know, sitting doesn’t, you know, burn as many calories as when you’re moving around you standing up, even your joints and your body are, they are tolerant or intolerant because of the amount of activity or inactivity that you do. It’s the same way with job search, it matters if you have been sedentary as far as your job search, even if you’re working or not working because the more you’re sedentary the more you have become out of touch with your industry, the more you become out of touch with whatever the trends are, even within your company or even within trends are on how to find a job. So by those things you can no longer be sedentary, if you expect to get a quicker result as I have said, my mantra has been for the past year “Job search now is a lifestyle” it’s something that you have to make a part of your life as much as you do in the activity for your body because if you don’t you’re sedentary and you’re susceptible to all kinds of things and you can use your imagination as far as in what we know, as far as studies that tell us how to be healthy. It is unhealthy for your job search and for your life as well, and that’s one trend to really consider now is that you know, a year behind in your industry is lightyears because things move so fast and so quickly especially now we have to take in the current events we got to also have an understanding of what our family needs and what our family wants are if we need to pivot t another career because it’s just going to be impossible to continue with the one that has taken up your time throughout time. So I think those things are dictating to change the way we look at the job search so it’s no longer this thing you can do for a couple of months and you’ll have the right job, it’s no longer the spray and prays method where you can send out a hundred resumes and at least you’ll get a hit. There are people who have applied for 700 jobs in a six-week span and didn’t get anything at all so I know that to be a fact because I hear the feedback and I hear from readers all of the time saying that I have been trying this that and other doesn’t work and a lot of it has to do with this idea that they are also understanding or thinking that they can get to a career and they can just be comfortable or going back to the example they could just be sedentary and you can’t do that anymore you have got to treat is as an active, breathing part of something you can continue, if you don’t you’re going to be behind and it’s going to be hard, it makes it difficult for all of your life not just for a part of it.

9:32 Monique:     Yeah, and that’s something that a select group I take through a program I refer to as “7 Guiding Principles to Achieve a Career Advantage” and it’s kind of a professional development plan for yourself designed by you, for you, for those reasons so that you are looking out over the horizon in terms of embodying what is purpose-driven work for you? What are you continuously learning? How are you building, you know, a specific skill each year?  Be really deliberate as opposed to “Oh, I’m in a job, I’m just going to sit and coast because then that means you’re leaving it to chance, you’re leaving your livelihood to chance and so I really espouse being deliberate and do some professional planning that is beyond the job search and where are your relationships, right? Because sometimes opportunities present themself through some form of a relationship so I love how you’ve captured the job search is about a lifestyle it’s a dynamic ongoing entity as opposed to static, which is we only do it when we have to...

10:39 Dyson:     Right, right. Right, if you look at people's behavior, for instance, most of your clients throughout your career have either been on an executive track or a high-level Management Executive, correct?

10:53 Monique:     Yes.

10:54 Dyson:     So, a lot of those they understand the need to be able to move and pivot with the trends and not after the trends have established themselves it’s best for them to ride the waves because they will need to just be able to speak to wherever it’s at and whether that wave is at its peak or at its valley, you’ll need to be able to address it, and not that people shouldn’t be able to take the accountability part from it but they need to take the accountability part from the aspect that that’s how engaged they need to be with the job search. You go along with the waves, you go along with the trends are, and if you don’t know where the trends are you are going to be lost and it’s kind of hard to catch it back up, I’m not saying you can’t, but it’s harder. Just as again the whole idea of being physically fit, somebody’s been sedentary for months it’s not that they just didn’t gain weight, they can’t move and not as mobile and they had gained aches and pains because they’re shocking their body now saying that “Oh, I’ve got to move” and it’ll get fixed along the way but now you’ve got to compensate for all the movement you didn’t do before. And so it’s the same way with your career, there is not a career trajectory as we used to know is that if you’ve done these eventually you’ll get picked or you’ll be in a position to do this and that’s not the way that it works anymore. How it works is that you positioned yourself, you created work that you created a demand for your work, you also are creating opportunities for yourself. That is job search, all the other intents around it and all the parts around it will matter more the more that you have the intention to do those basic things

12:53 Monique:     What from your perspective are, considering young professionals, right? What are the best resources for young professionals to have today to support their efforts to, you know, stay on the cutting end of trends or just navigating job search?

13:12 Dyson:     Yes. One is that you’ve got to be involved in industries or organizations. I have seen too many times where people are just... they just have memberships to say that they are members, but you need to be active members not only just active members but you need to be lending your voice to the industry at large because that’s how people will get to know you, and so if you’re saying something smart, somebody’s going to remember that or people are going to remember that. To be involved in those committees, to be talking on the phone, to be on those private zoom calls, to say “Hey, I’m leaving this position, one of you may want it because all of you qualify. Well, that is a much better job search than to have to sort through, to apply online with a thousand other people and by doing them down to three or four candidates through the ATS, with the “Applicant Tracking System”. People think that that would work, if you do that, a hundred, two hundred, three hundred times. No, it doesn’t work that way anymore. 1999 was great when Career Builder and Monster mobile popped up and the standard had a very low bar, that was a numbers game and that was cool. You’re going to get a hit, you’re going to get something. Now that people are now really oversaturated it’s antiquated now. The way that you’re going to get a job is one person hiring another and there are things that every day, that recruiters and executives are thinking of ways how can they get to the quick best talent quicker, if they can’t find you, and they don’t see you, they’re going to depend on the system that is old and that works for them but it definitely is to exclude you, and you can even be the best-qualified candidate, that doesn’t mean you’re gonna come up right there on their machines. So I think all of that we say is that “Be seen.” The networking is always going to be there to work for you and you can use online, social media, you can use which really now is probably the primary tool, it’s the Career Builder of 1999 so to speak, but unless you’re saying stuff unless you’re being visible and being noticed because people want proof now. People want proof, so that’s why they’re not just asking for three references anymore, they want to see your work. Some employees I’ve heard up to five, maybe even seven references now, they should at least have it ready, that could go out the window because we have things like LinkedIn which, you know, in my opinion, when people provide you references right there they’re just as good as getting references through the company through those loopholes. So there’s just so much to put into it, it’s hard to nail down just one way because when you think about it, as we talked about before when we turned on record, the military has its own set of circumstances, if you’re in trades that’s a whole other type of different thing, so we’re only speaking to your certain sector of folks here. But for your audience probably they can understand that connection is the way to go for me to have proof on my work and create that demand for my work so that people will come to you, that 360 approach is the way that people are going to find jobs from here on in.

18:11 Monique:     Yeah, nice. I really liked that analogy of a 360 approach it’s so true in terms of lifting up that visibility, you know, factor for yourself. Along these lines, and I have two more questions, the first has to do with the role of executive recruiter, I mean, the platforms LinkedIn I’ve had a number of clients are tapped by hiring managers for pretty senior-level roles that I would have thought “ wow, I would have just thought an executive recruiter would present those type of opportunities but hiring managers are able, they’ve got a pool of resources through LinkedIn and they’re able to do outreach to top talent. So what from your perspective is the changing role of the executive recruiter in the life of a job seeker?

19:00 Dyson:     Good question. 2010 after the recession, after the economic downturn, still we are being affected. LinkedIn was sort of the place where they would complete their search as far as just to make sure that late 20’s early 30’s person that they were getting ready to make an assistant vice president isn’t drinking and, you know, making a fool of himself, right? Now LinkedIn is like the first place that they go, they want proof right away make sure that in spending time that you do have at least the credentials and, you know, along the way, it may not be necessarily been drunk at a party that they are interested in but they are more interested in what you’re doing proactively and as a proof is a way you have accomplished and what your results are and do you live up to that way and who you’re connected with and who your network is. Those things are much more important now and sometimes you have to watch who you are connected with because since we have this much more transparency that’s expected that, you know if you are connected with somebody that’s connected to your boss and your boss doesn’t think that you’re an asset, he’s going to tell that person, that person is going to know that job that you’re being sought out for, they’re going to know and I’ve seen that happen in several cases probably one that comes to mind first only because I’m really close to the person was that he went and as he applied in his company that was vetting him, his boss came through and knew that my friend was involved as far as the candidate,  he started saying bad things about him. So the employer had two choices he can listen to this guy and they can vet him even further, and so, you know, they made the offer to my  friend and they said that “ you are the most vetted person that we have ever done and that’s to say that that’s what you’ve got to be ready as an executive and executive recruiters are going to be doing, they’re going to be spending a lot more time vetting.” So as we see the trends going up as time is hiring, it’s going to go from 45 days to maybe 90 days and you’re going to see more interviews than we’ve ever seen before.

21:39 Monique:     Or one positioned interviewing more candidates or the candidates who are going through the process are going to be exposed to more interviews?

21:46 Dyson:     It could be more candidates, it could mean definitely be seen more time.

21:54 Monique:     So Mark, my last question for you, and by the way thank you so much for giving of your time to the Tuesdays with Coach Mo Show it is just awesome to have you with your depth of experience here sharing your knowledge, what have we not discussed Mark that you believe is important for this audience to know?

22:14 Dyson:     I think all in all everybody’s telling you not to give up and this is going to be hard to hear especially to people who’ve been in a very diligent search for a number of months. That those intangibles are going to matter, how you’re willing to go back and make that second or third, fourth, or fifth phone call to find out how the interview is going, or how the process is going, and how many people you have to connect with just to get to somebody that can give you a possible referral or that could be of some kind of help, but I think all in all, despite all the strategies those things are going to matter too and people just need to be prepared for a long haul.

23:03 Monique:       Yeah I really liked that. Make, you know, all those follow up phone calls, tap in those referrals

23:10 Dyson:     All those little things are going to matter and consistency, that’s going to matter too.

23:15 Monique:     Nice. Yeah, which is why I say “Have a plan, have a framework, and give yourself some permission to work your plan and then step away from it.”

23:25 Dyson:     Yes. Absolutely.

23:26 Monique:     Just allowing it to wear on you, and wear on you if you have a plan. Because the numbers are big, I mean, we are just looking at a numbers game in terms of outreach. I’ve heard something like 200 points of contact may result in, you know, five informational interviews which result in 3 actual interviews, which may result in 1 job. It came from like a five o’clock club and that is a number from years ago. So I can’t even imagine what it is but I share that to say that if you know that it has been quantified and 200 was cut off a number to work with from, you know, rewinding eight years. Give yourself permission, make those calls, tap into the network, follow up, because just playing small and outreach to 5 or 10 is not going to serve you well

24:21 Dyson:     Yeah, yeah. I think people put a limit on what they’re willing to do and I think that day is going to have to come to an end to some degree. If you’re a graduate student or if you’re a freshman in college, you should be doing scores, and I literally mean scores of informational interviews which isn’t the best name for it, they’re really business conversations in hopes to advance your business transactions in the future. But all in all yeah especially the graduates who are in graduate schools, that’s the time when you should be talking to maybe fifty to a hundred people within a years’ time to get as much intel about your industry that you’re interested in and landing it as much as possible.

25:15 Monique:     Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. Well, Mark, again thanks so much for your time, it has been a pleasure and I’m going to make sure that our listeners and audience have an opportunity to connect with and follow up with you with all the great service and content that you make available.

25:29 Dyson:     Thank you for being a great host.