What makes a job search successful?
I’d argue finding a job better than your previous position has to be the most basic requirement of a job search. A better definition would have to account for your ability to succeed once you accept a job offer. Both seem simple yet people fail time and time again meet either requirement. It’s not for lack of trying so much as it is from a lack of guidance.
The cause of people tanking their job search boils down to one of two factors: 1) bad advice or 2) no advice at all. That’s why I decided to write Corporate Ladder University, which I’ll talk about more a little later.
Bad career advice usually falls into one of four source categories:
1. College career service center focused on every graduate finding a job, any job
Bless their hearts but college career counselors do little to prepare job seekers for long-term success in the workplace or share guidance on how to assess job/company fit. In fairness, maybe that’s not their mandate since colleges get ranked more on the job placement of their graduates. That doesn’t colleges shouldn’t weight long-term success more heavily than they do, but that’s a post for a different time.
2. Third party headhunters desperate to fill roles
Did you know that headhunters can make 30% of your salary as a commission for placing you at a firm? I can recall on several occasions having conversations with headhunters and giving specific requirements on salary and job descriptions but being presented with roles that made zero sense based on our discussion. I know many people who have had positive outcomes with headhunters, but to this day I rarely interact with third party recruiters based on those experiences I had.
Incentives drive behavior and no incentives exist for headhunters to place you in a long-term role. In fact, you can easily make an argument that they should want you to change jobs fairly consistently, so they have another opportunity to collect the 30% bounty for placing you.
3. Professional career coaches who never have been on the business side
There’s a $2 billion market for life coaches ($14b career counseling). As with anything else, some coaches and consultants are better than others providing job search help, and the mediocre far outnumber the highly skilled. Your
You need to understand nothing says, “I get you” better than letting a person (namely your client) know you walked the exact same path and sat in the exact same seat. So, like college career centers, many professional career coaches can help you land a job but can’t support you understanding what it takes to keep that job or improve your position.
4. Misguided parental advice on college
One of the hardest things about being a parent is balancing doing what’s right for your kids with what you know will make them happy. You know, like my two kids love ice cream but I know it’s not the best idea for them to go on a diet that consist of ice cream for every meal.
Unfortunately, no official parenting manual exists and not all parenting issues have such an obvious answer. Giving advice on what to do in college is one of those cases. Deep down inside every parent knows there is such a thing as a crappy major – one with poor odds of finding gainful employment after college. Many can’t or don’t want to admit their child won’t be the exception to the rule.
Once you take into account the natural tension that exists with trying to convince a college-aged kid to do anything, you have a recipe for an oversupply of philosophy majors entering the workforce with no idea what they can do.
That may sound mean, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Introducing Corporate Ladder University
I wrote this book because it took years for me to understand how the various choices I made impacted the options available to me, starting from the day I chose my college to the day I decided I didn’t want to and wouldn’t travel for work to the day I said that I’d take a job where I can travel 40+ weeks in a year.
Every decision matters, and having someone who had to make those choices explain to you how the downstream impact of those changes is a resource I wish I had sooner in my career. I created it for you so you can learn the most impactful career strategies upfront.
The book is structured into 4 sections of 12 chapters covering the below topics.
- School selection sets the foundation for your career
- Course selection: why just a degree is not enough
- Job searching in the social media age
- Perception is everything: art of first impressions
- Entitlement ≠Ambition
- Building the right relationships
- Why S.M.A.R.T. objectives really are genius
- The dirty secret on how to make more $
- The two paths to move into the job you want
- Tips for maintaining key relationships
- How (and when) to say no on the job
- What should you do now?
The book includes many of the Corporate Ladder University cartoons previously published on the site and at least a half-dozen never before seen cartoons to help illustrate the absurdity of some of the things that happen in business.
In short, I wrote this book to show you how I navigated the business world and will no doubt give you an advantage going forward. I’ll share with you how you can get it soon.