Writing you from a coffee shop in East London tonight, after a day of working from home and a lot of laundry.
The laundry was a must, you see, because I am doing a comical amount over the next two weeks. I'm headed to:
- Seattle for 72 hours for meetings, straight into
- Bordeaux for a girls' weekend, straight into
- Berlin for the week before Easter, just because
But it's good. Makes me feel like me.
I know a don't talk about it a lot, but it's definitely been an adjustment going from 100% remote, full-time self-employment to taking my own Monday-to-Friday full-time job over the last nine months.
I sometimes feel like a spy. I sometimes feel great about my choice. Mostly, I feel like I'm learning a lot of things that will help me keep helping you throughout your career.
Yesterday over lunch, I was explaining #ENTRYLEVELBOSS and my specific approach to career coaching to someone. And I realized I always start this explanation the same way these days.
"The fundamental reason why I coach--and the reason why I am in demand and the reason why I keep going--is that the job search process is broken."
I want to underscore that point for you today, because I don't think I remind you of that enough.
A lot of you are struggling to find a job right now, whether it's your first big kid job ever or your next career move.
A lot of you are blaming yourselves for your failure. I know you are, because I get these emails in my inbox almost daily.
Which is why I need to remind you again today of this very important fact: that the system you are navigating is broken.
Employers are spamming every job site they can think of with their mediocre job listings, and forgetting to take them down once they fill the position.
And you're out there frantically sending out resumes for every position you skim through on the internet that doesn't require a cover letter, desperately trying to be productive. (You are, don't lie.)
In advertising, this is called the "spray-and-pray method." It means that you intentionally and un-strategically spam as many people as possible, in the hopes that you'll hit the right target. A viable option if you're Coca-Cola and buying million-dollar TV ads left and right. Slightly less effective if you're doing all this spamming manually, and on your own.
So, yes, both hiring and job seeking (two sides of the same coin, btw) are failing. We're drowning in spam mail and outdated processes on all sides.
This is not your fault.
But it is your fault if you keep acting like it's the only way to do things, even though you know it's not very efficient.
After all, everyone else seems to be doing it this way, right? And if everybody's doing it...
There's this great This American Life episode that talks about why we continue to do the wrong thing, even when we've discovered a better way to go about it.
It's because the desire to follow the crowd is so strong, that we will hold ourselves back on purpose--yes really--just to blend in with what others seem to be doing.
I think about that a lot.