Many of the best career opportunities are never advertised. That may sound ridiculous, but let me explain. Suppose you were a Fortune 500 company and you were looking for a Vice President to helm your international shipping operations. Here’s why you wouldn’t advertise such a position.
“You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for what you put in an hour.” – Jim Rohn
“You have to convince an employer that what they are looking for is exactly who you are.” – L
You would be tipping your hand to your competitors that you are possibly expanding. You might be attempting to lure a key competitor employee. It might raise the question as to what is going to happen to the employee at the company who is currently in that position. An advertisement could overload your human resources director with unqualified applicants and possibly overlook the right applicant.
That’s simply not the way big business does things.
One way a company could find a key employee is to contact a Headhunter, someone who specializes in finding high-power executives. In simple terms, the Headhunter spends thousands of hours talking to executives who aren’t quite at the level that they would like to be and are open to a possible move. Over months and years the Headhunter builds up a roster of qualified people and then places calls to Fortune 500 companies to inquire if they would have interest in interviewing a particular candidate. The company may say no, but the Headhunter is hoping for a reply along the lines of the following: “If you should run across someone with international currency experience, who speaks Spanish fluently, is not averse to relocating, and has at least ten years experience in the field of geology, get back to me.”
As a Financial Consultant for a number of Wall Street firms, I would regularly get a call to see if I was interested in making a move. Companies are always interested in people that can join their company and fatten the bottom line, which is to say, if you can make money for a company, somebody can use you.
Likewise, in my youth I worked for a personnel company in San Diego. Lots of little ads were run in the Sunday classified section of the local papers with a job description and usually a starting salary or the well-known, make up to $$$$ annually verbiage.
The reaction was always the same. On Monday morning all the lines were ringing off the hook. Whoever answered the phone would evaluate the caller with a few questions and either invite them in for an interview or tell them that a more qualified candidate was needed.
Another part of the business was calling companies asking if they were seeking employees and if so, which qualities would the job candidate need. There would be a fee, of course, sometimes paid by the company looking to hire, sometimes by the job applicant who would get hired, and sometimes split between the two.
Granted, not every job candidate fit the job description perfectly, but our job was to convince both sides that it would be a perfect fit.
I don’t know what type of job or career you’re after, but I really don’t have to. I’ll give you ways to approach the job or career that you want. I’ll have to cover some basics, perhaps things you already know, but I’ll share my stories with you and my experience to save you some false starts and get you closer to your ideal income situation.
How do you decide what it is that you want to do with your life? The short answer is that you think seriously about it. This is about what you want to do with your life, not what your parents want you to do with your life, or what your friends think you should do with your life. It’s about you!
If you’re married or already have a family there are other considerations, but you must focus on one area in which you can make a living, enjoy, and one which also has the potential for promotion and an increase in earnings as time passes.
If you currently get paid by the hour you’ll never get rich at that job. If you’re salaried, there are limitations as well. A salaried employee is someone who has agreed to work extra hours for no extra pay.
When you’re out in the job market and telling everybody you run into that you’re willing to do anything because you just need a job, don’t expect a flood of offers.
When an employer hears that you just need a job, they know ahead of time that you won’t stick around once something better comes along and the employer really has to weigh the advantages of training you.
Never ever tell anybody that you’re willing to do anything just for a paycheck. At the same time, don’t be afraid to tell an employer that you’re willing to join the company in any capacity in order to come onboard your dream company. In other words, you are not going to beg for a job for the sake of a paycheck, but you will do any task that you’re asked just for the opportunity to prove yourself that you would make a valuable employee.
Companies have no problem with training good people if they know that the person is in it for the long haul. Once you’re trained you have value and you add value to the company’s bottom line.
The more skills you can bring to the table, the more valuable you are. Don’t be surprised if you hear the phrase, “you’re really over-qualified for this position.” You just have to be ready with a great reply along the lines of the following: “I know that from looking at my CV I appear to be over-qualified, but I’m willing to accept this position so that I can join this company and grow with it.”
Keep in mind you have to have a strong commitment to every company that you approach, and don’t be afraid to approach a few companies at the same time. Just because Company A doesn’t have an opening right now, doesn’t mean that in three weeks a guy from Company A takes a job with Company B and creates an opportunity for you.
Stay in touch. If a company says that they just filled a position that you would be ideal for, don’t hesitate telling them that if the new hire doesn’t work out, you’d be happy to talk with the company again in the future. Most companies have some sort of probation period, and not everybody makes it.
I’ll share this story with you. I was working for SmithBarney in Beverly Hills as a financial consultant, but after about a decade in the industry, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I wanted out.
What did I do? I did what I’ve recommended to you. I thought long and hard about what I really wanted to do at that time in my life and came to a decision. I’d always had a love of broadcasting ever since elementary school when I first heard my voice being played back on a tape recorder. I would listen to disc jockeys, Reverends, commercial announcers, and radio theater, and just dream about how cool it would be to be on-the-air.
I set my sights high. I shied away from sports, because it seemed to me that everybody wanted to be a sportscaster. My background was in finance, so I decided to go after business news.
I began my job hunt in February 1991 and applied to every major radio and TV network. There were lots of rejection slips and lots of embarrassment. Friends and family thought I was crazy for even trying to get into broadcasting, but I was determined.
With every rejection I became more aggressive with the remaining prospects. After nine months I was hired by CBS, eventually rising to the position of Business Editor in Los Angeles and also doing television and talk radio for two other CBS stations in the city.
After ten years with CBS, an offer came in from Bloomberg and I was ready to move on and accept a new challenge.
If you really want something, go after it, because even if you don’t get it, it may lead you to something that you enjoy that you never even thought of. At the very least, you can walk away satisfied, knowing that you gave it your all.
By Lazz Laszlo
About the Author: Lazz Laszlo is truly a dynamic and high-energy personality whose education, specialized training, and real-life experiences combine to make his public appearances memorable, entertaining, and rewarding for all those in attendance. His latest book is called Get Gutsy, Get Hired.