One of the many vacation conversations was about generation X, Y, and Z and how the workplace was going to be effected. I have read a number of articles about the lack of jobs and how our University trained children will not find the work they need to pay their debts and support themselves. I’m not sure that these articles really understand the challenges and I am getting tired of them using bad news to increase sales.
I have started volunteering with a group called OSISO that helps new Canadians find work and some of the creative ways that people approach the problem, leads me to believe that we may not understand what the problem really is. OSISO takes a practical look at the process of finding a job and outlines a step by step procedure that instills confidence in the job seeker.
I would suggest that the real problem is that we don’t spend any time preparing our graduates for the job search process.
I have spoken to several CEO’s of high tech companies in the area and asked them what they thought of the OSISO approach. The CEO’s told me that “If a job seeker shows up at an interview and knows what the company does, knows what projects are on the critical path, knows people on those projects and knows how they can help, they are likely to get an offer that same day.”
The question is how do you get the information you need to be prepared?
This is where creativity really comes into play. One such candidate took it upon herself to hang out in the target company smoking area. She started by just being there and then eventually introduced herself to some of the employees. After a couple of weeks she had made friends and had all the back ground she needed. I’m not suggesting that you take up smoking to get a job, but you have to admit, she was a creative thinker.
You have to know what you want to do. You have to know where you want to work. You have to understand what is important to that company and you have to know how you can solve their problems. You should never go to an interview without being prepared.
Every employer has problems that they are trying to solve and they don’t always see increasing their run rate as a way to address those problems. They are busy trying to put out fires so you have to show up with a hose in hand.
Let me piece together the pseudo thread over the last while. A graduation happens and the new grad has trouble getting a job. I could say welcome to the new millennium though this ‘problem’ is not new. When I graduated with my Electronics Engineering Technology diploma many years ago Mitel hired only 2 from my class (myself and a friend from my class) and then most high tech employment doors slammed shut for almost a year! Yes it can be difficult getting a job even with too little or too much experience.
As for the CEO’s comment:
“If a job seeker shows up at an interview and knows what the company does, knows what projects are on the critical path, knows people on those projects and knows how they can help, they are likely to get an offer that same day.”
If the job seeker was not a current employee and knew great detail about projects and staffing then the company has a serious security problem. They should not ‘wow’ over how much the candidate knows and hire them but investigate how they got the information.
Knowledge, perseverance and flexibility will win the day.
Great post. Sometimes just getting the interview is the main problem. Many companies get a deluge of resumes from all over the world and it’s hard to see how your resume will be the one that gets picked up. OCISO does a great job of giving some practical tips on how to tap into the 80% of the jobs that are never advertised. Like you, I also realized that the average graduate has gone through years of school being taught *what to do* when they get a job, but not even a single course on *how to* get that job!