The ONE way you're gonna find a new job in 2011...

OK. I thought I was done for 2010, but something annoying me to the point that I have to weigh in one more time. So, hi.

I think I have seen no less than 94 similarly advertised blog posts on Twitter in the last two days: 

  • "Top 5 Ideas for Job Search in 2011" and
  • "8 Ways To Find a Job in 2011" and
  • "7 Job Search Blunders to Avoid in 2011" and
  • "Top 3 Ways to Get a Job if You're Over 50, in 2011"
  • "6 Amazing New Things You Must Know About Finding a Job, in 2011."


I feel like I'm standing in line at the grocery store reading headlines from Job Search Cosmo or the Job Search Inquirer or something. UCK.

Yes, I get it. I am a provider of job search advice. I am for certain covering some similar topics to those who follow along here. But I simply can't take another lame "Rah! Rah! Here's All Ya Gotta Do in 2011!" headline.

Not even ONE more.

You want to know the one way you're going to land a new job in 2011?

You want to know the ONE way you're going to change your life this year?


That's right. Cut it out. Now.

Stop machine-gunning vanilla resumes off into blind mailboxes, with absolutely no concept of how a resume makes its way through a corporation, and why key words are so damned important if you want to even get to a set of human eyeballs (try: Applicant Tracking Systems. Don't know what they are? Google the term immediately and then fix your resume accordingly.)

Stop sending "Hey, got a job for me, huh huh huh?" emails to your recruiterand thinking he's going to suddenly jump on the case (on Monday, Jan. 3, no less.)  He's not. He's not your agent. You are your agent. Unless he has the absolute perfect opening for you? He just doesn't have incentive to do much for you.

Stop spending 6 hours a day on, CareerBuilder, Indeed, and other job boards. Want to know a little secret? 92% of your competition is applying for those same damned jobs. This means that there's going to be a HUGE pileup of yous applying for a relatively small fraction of available jobs. Because they're advertised, and right in front of everyone's faces. So everyone applies.

Stop thinking that "networking" means cornering strangersinto "having coffee" in the name of draining job leads (or a job, or every ounce of their energy) out of them. Have you ever considered that you might get further with the networking if that other party thinks there's something in it for her, too? Think about the term "give to get" and how you can apply it to networking in 2011.

Stop waiting around for the world to respond.Your career (or lack thereof) means a hell of a lot to you, your family and probably a relative few number of people in your immediate circle. It means very little to the rest of the world. Sad, but true.  So stop waiting around for someone to hand deliver a job. Stop waiting for people to call or email you back. Stop waiting for people to drop the 124 other things they're juggling to remedy your situation. Figure out new, bold, creative ways to do it yourself.

I talk to many many many job seekers. The biggest blunder I see among the most discouraged is that they're not taking the time to THINK about what's going wrong. They're not considering the necessity of implementing some new tactics. They're not taking the time to calm the hell downand get creative. They're reading one too many of those "Rah! Rah! Let me Save You in 2011!" articles I mention above.

They're not making any dramatic shifts in their same old approach.

Everything has changed, folks. So guess what?

Auto pilot? Won't get you anywhere in 2011.

Photo by: Datmater (Flickr Creative Commons)