“You’ve got to be before you can do, and do before you can have” – Zig Ziglar
A transitional economy as ours is bound to send a signal of hopelessness and despair to a job seeker and his family and network of friends. This is understandable. However, my hypothesis is this: even when you don’t know what to do, being confused or disoriented quadruples the challenge and makes a mole hill seem like a mountain. Based on my experience, observation and intellectual voyage, I feel strongly that there are things you can do to help yourself get a job. These things fall within your Circle of Influence. In this two-part article, I present some of those thoughts. Please share amongst friends, with your kids and circle of job seekers that you know. Ask them if they are seeking a job. If they answer, ‘Yes’, then tell them to Hire themselves.
In Part One of this article, I said the way to go was to hire yourself into ‘You Incorporated.’ “What is the business of You Inc? Its mission is to undertake a project called BE – DO – HAVE. This is a project that ends with you arriving at your desired job, or, at least,a job away from your desired job. I agree with Zig Ziglarthat, “You’ve got to be before you can do, and do before you can have.” Be – Do – Have is a project that helps you answer and activate two/three questions that would lead to you ‘Having a desired goal’. To Have the career/job you desire, ask yourself “What must I Become?” and “What must I Do?”Before we begin to delayer Be – Do, let us take a look at ‘Have’. Before you ask yourself what you must become and what you must do, you need to define what you want to have. For if we do not define the end from the beginning, we might just find that we made good speed to a wrong destination. Ouch! That would be so painful. There is a reason we have different categories and brands of cars for different types of road – so that you can, upon determining your destination, move next to choose a suitable car. You may have inherent love for a Ferrari sports car but if you have to head through a rocky pot-hole ridden road, wisdom compels that you select a different type of car. Hence the first task on the project Be – Do – Have, being undertaken by you in You Incorporated, is to define what career and/or job that you seek.
Hiring Yourself: Job Two
However, the main focus of Hiring Yourself is to answer questions and undertake projects around Be and Do, i.e “What must I Become?” and “What must I Do?”The first thing you need to become is a Job Seeker. Not everyone wishing to get a job is a Job Seeker. According to the Longman dictionary, a seeker is someone who is trying to find or get something. Try to visualize someone who is looking for something precious in her house. What is she doing? Is she lying in bed chatting on her phone? I don’t think so. Is she sipping juice and watching African Magic? Not likely. Does she happen to have friends around and are they just gathered around bemoaning her situation and blaming the government, her parents, or even neighbours? Not likely. Very likely you would see her lifting chairs and looking under tables and beds. Pillows would be raised to see if it is under. Bookshelves would be ransacked. She would be moving from room to room. She would ask everyone at home if they had seen what she is looking for. The gateman may be quizzed. The house maid wouldn’t have a fun day. She would enlist home peers and younger ones into the search party. I can even visualize that in her passionate search she could enlist parents and uncles. Calls would be made to housemates who aren’t at home to see if they happen to have seen it. She would sit down later to try to do some recollection of when last she saw it. The home search party would also sit down after some time to review their efforts and to also do some recollection. They would leave no stone unturned. Someone said to me the other day that many young ones aren’t looking for jobs, it is people looking for jobs for them
Become a Job Seeker
A job seeker is someone who has made getting a job No. 1 priority and focus. Someone said the proof of conviction is pursuit. A job seeker wants to get a job at the shortest possible time. A job seeker employs himself unto a full time job of getting himself a job. A job seeker doesn’t equivocate or concentrate on economic statistics that are outside his circle of influence. He or she has a sharp shooting,unwavering,focus on the job search. The days of the week and the times of the day are spent mainly on activities that help to accomplish this mission. No known stone is left unturned. Unknown stones become known through passionate search for information – through family and friends; online and offline.
What you believe is what you becomeand what you have become becomes obvious through your actions and not through words. For I will show you my faith by my works.What you choose is also apparent from your actions and inactions. I will go into more details of the kind of things a real job seeker does when we delve deeper into the third arm of the business of You Inc.
Also you need to become a Problem Solver. Organisations are looking for people who are in the habit of solving problems – be the one.
Hiring Yourself: Job Three
Longman defines a job as something you are responsible for doing. Or as a particular thing you have to do, considered as work. It is also said to be: the regular paid job that you do for an employer. Can you see what is common to all these definitions? It is the word Do. The business you have in You Inc is to solve Be – Do – Have for yourself, where the main aspect of the job is the doing part. Do is defined as,‘to perform an action or activity.’Hire yourself to perform several activities. Hire yourself into an action mode. #HireYourself = #ActionModeActivated. Newton’s first law of motion states that anything remains in a state of rest or uniform motion except a force is applied. Need a job urgently? Then fill your time with several activities aimed at raising your employability and thus significantly raising your chance of being selected by employers. Hire yourself away from activities that distract you from your singular purpose of delivering a job into your hands in the shortest time. Hire yourself away from activities that are commonplace, done by everyone, but don’t necessarily aid your growth or your job search. Here I would list a few things to hire yourself into.
Hire yourself to develop yourself.
What knowledge or skills don’t you have? What knowledge or skills do you have, but need to strengthen or become great at? Develop a Personal Development Plan to pick and grow in those areas. Utilize your days and your nights to acquire these knowledge and skills. Use google. Use MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), since they are rich but free,such as www.coursera.com, www.edx.com, www.alison.com etc. “A massive open online course (MOOC) is a free Web-based distance learning program that is designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students. A MOOC may be patterned on a college or university course or may be less structured.”- www.whatis.com
Hire yourself to learn and deepen MS Office and social media skills.
Being proficient in the use of Microsoft office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint mainly) and social media is like knowing how to use a pen in 1980. Unfortunately, our inadequate school system isn’t designed to provide us with this while in school. A serious job seeker doesn’t waste time complaining about what should have been that isn’t, but spends time on his Circle of Influence. If you already know how to use these tools, then you need to grow them so as to become an advanced user.
Hire yourself to improve on your grammar, writing, and general communication skills.
English language which is the main means of communication happens to be a foreign language that many people feel isn’t well imbibed in our schools anymore. Improve on yours! Use every free time to improve on this. Get a dictionary. Read prime local newspapers eg. The Guardian and foreign magazines such as Time. In the marketplace, writing is a major means of getting things done. Develop writing skills. You don’t have to be an author to be a good writer. It is an art that can be learnt. Learn to be a far better listener than you were yesterday. Many of us don’t know how to listen to understand and it is one of the most important life skills but yet not on any school curriculum. Making presentations to groups is a regular occurrence in the workplace, so hire yourself to learn how to make presentations using MS PowerPoint.
Hire yourself to prepare for tests and interviews.
Almost all organisations conduct some sort of assessment tests for fresh graduates. Then many would still conduct such an assessment test for people with work experience that is less than four years. Time spent preparing for these tests is time well spent towards securing an ideal job. Note that there are various types of tests. Research them online and practise, practise, practise. You would also find two very helpful chapters on tests and interviews in Getting a Job is a Job: A No-Nonsense Practical Guide to Getting your Desired Job, by Aruosa Osemwegie. I remember how we used to prepare for JAMB and WAEC in those days. It was day and night. Lanterns and candles were important help mates. There was serious group study. There are so many ways to prepare for interviews. Use the mirror. Use informational interviews as well.
Hire yourself to enrich your resume and build a compelling LinkedIn profile.
A resume is an all-important document in a job search. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Few great ones came along once in a while. I always say, “Writing a great CV is hardwork” and the skill doesn’t just fall on you. Some research is required. In the 21st century, your “online resume” otherwise known as LinkedIn profile is also as important. A great LinkedIn profile is a job. But having a good one pays dividends in your job search.
Hire yourself to grow teamwork and leadership abilities.
Find practical ways to grow teamwork and leadership abilities. Yes, you can gain quite some knowledge by reading and researching on teamwork and leadership ability, but you need practical informal experience. Volunteer to join a group in church or a project in the housing estate where you reside. Volunteer to help out at an orphanage or an NGO. Go to a school nearby and offer yourself. Go to the local government office and offer to help. Or start a community impact project around your neighborhood.
The question is, “Do you need a job?” Then hire yourself! Why you should do that, and how to do that has been the subject of this two-part article. Best of luck!