Three Lessons Learned from the Summer Job Search Blues

Our son, Justin, is home for the summer from College. It was a Mom “directive/requirement/command” that he would work this summer and earn his spending money. What a learning experience for all of us!

First, he started looking way too late. We learned he should have started looking for positions in January, not April. Second, the world of on-line application is interesting to say the least. It is easy to get lost in the crowd as you are one of hundreds and sometimes thousands of applicants! Third, many don’t want Summer help…and the list goes on and on.

I found myself learning a lot about the process from observing and helping Justin try to land a job. I am very out of touch with having to find a job myself since I have owned my own business for 10 years. I must find and be hired by my clients – but that is a very different process than being hired by a retail store or company.

Below are some of the insights I have gleaned from helping Justin find a summer job that apply universally:

 It Is Who You Know

Competence and skill are foundational and you have to do the job or deliver results once employed. But, to get an interview or land the job it is still true it often comes down to ‘who you know’ or ‘who knows you’. Realistically, when there are hundreds of applications it’s hard to stand out. I can’t say Justin’s job came exclusively from a personal contact we had at this company, but I am confident he got the interview because his application was pulled with a request for him to be interviewed.

Executive Brilliance takeaway? Build a personal and professional network of support. Work hard, be honest, stay connected and say thanks. These are so basic, so easy and so very important.

 Learning Keeps You Current

Justin has enjoyed meeting new people, being in a totally different environment, opening a bank account, learning about direct deposit and learning the importance of being on time. These are lessons that will serve him well in the future.  But for now, this learning experience feels fun and exciting as he begins his work adventure.

Having worked in the Senior Citizen Industry for many years, I have seen firsthand how deadly it is when people stop learning or more importantly have no thirst for learning. New neural pathways are formed whenever we learn a new skill, try a new hobby or take a different path to work. People who still have a thirst for knowledge and adapt to change have a different resiliency than those who ‘play it safe’ or say ‘been there, done that’.

Executive Brilliance takeaway? Stay alert and vibrant. Read, learn, change, grow!

 Add Play to your Day

While meaningful work is one of the most important components to a rich and fulfilling life, the need for play and relaxation is equally important. Americans work more hours than any other nation and are more stressed than ever before. Research shows those of us who are multi-tasking are really multi-slacking and we are losing our ability to focus. We are all constantly connected with all our electronic devices 24/7. We should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, most of us do not.

We need to lighten up, leave earlier, and disconnect more often. Getting a massage, playing golf and eating chocolate can be good for your mental and physical health.

Executive Brilliance takeaway?  Do you have strong network of support? Are you stretching and growing in your personal and professional life? Have you had a deep belly laugh in the past month? Can you ‘turn off work’ when you get home? If not, call me — I can help!

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