Surviving the Job Search

Robin Cunningham Health Guide

    When looking for a job, it is essential for us to keep in mind that there are at least three participants in every job interview.  These are an interviewer, an interviewee, and the 800 pound gorilla.  [I'm obviously using the last of these figuratively.  If there was a real 800 pound gorilla in the room, no matter how much I might want to impress the interviewer, I would be the first one out the door.]  The 800 pound gorilla in the room asks no questions and makes no comments.  He usually hides in a corner where he can't be seen.  Sometimes he takes notes.  Nonetheless, for all of us, he plays a vital role in the process of finding and keeping a good job.

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    Unfortunately, the interviewer and interviewee sometimes forget that the 800 pound gorilla is present.  For each, this lapse of memory can lead to dissatisfaction in the end.  It can result in the interviewer hiring the wrong person and the interviewee accepting the wrong job.  If this occurs, both the interviewer/employer and the interviewee/employee will be disappointed when they eventually part company.  And they will part company.  More often than not, each will suffer some loss of confidence as a consequence.


    It's the 800 pound gorilla that makes the "world go around," but its name is neither "Love" nor "Money."  The name of this 800 pound gorilla is "Economics."  This distinction is very important.


    I used to be a "deal maker": I got people who had great ideas, but no money to implement these, together with others who had enough money to bring these great ideas to fruition.  If you wanted to survive in this business there was an old adage to which you had to adhere: "A good deal must be a good deal for all the participants."  One of the most important determinates of a "good deal" is that all participants are motivated by the terms of the deal to keep up their end of the bargain.  If one of the participants fails to keep up their end of the bargain for any reason, a good deal can turn into a bad one very quickly.  I know.  When it comes to jobs, I've seen the consequences when an employer fails to keep up its end of a bargain and I've seen what happens when an employee does not keep up his/her end.


    All the above is very important part of finding and keeping a good job.  When an employer offers you a job and you accept it, the two of you have made a deal.  You have agreed to do certain work and the employer has agreed to pay you for that work.  And both of you must be happy with the arrangement if it is to survive.


    But, precisely how does one go about actually finding a good job?  From our perspective as consumers and potential employees, the process begins with ourselves well before our first interview.


    In essence, we must examine our level of functionality as this is measured by society as a whole and by individual employers in particular, i.e. we must evaluate our functionality in absolute terms.  [What kinds of jobs will a prospective employer find us qualified to do?  What personality traits must we demonstrate?  What kinds of training will we be expected to have completed?]  We must set aside the relative measurement of functionality that has served us so well, and will continue to do so, in recovery, the measurement in which we compare what we've accomplished today with what we accomplished the day before.  [Once we get a job, this relative measurement of functionality can again become very helpful, especially in terms of earning promotions.]  And we must remember that while a potential employer may evaluate our functionality in absolute terms, the standards that different employers use for different kinds of jobs may vary widely.


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    So, we must measure our functionality as each prospective employer will measure it.  For certain employers and certain jobs this can be remarkably easy.  For others it can involve a significant amount of research.


    The good news is that the number of times we must perform this process of measurement, and the effort involved, can be reduced significantly if we first do a little introspection and set out for ourselves on paper our goals and objectives in seeking work and the types of work we are interested in doing.


    Having set out the fundamentals above, in my next few blogs I will walk us through the entire process, step by step, of measuring our functionality in absolute terms, setting employment goals, and finding and keeping a good job.  You will find that the 800 pound gorilla is involved in just about every aspect of this process.


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    Please remember, this writing reflects my own experience and opinions.  If you, or a loved one, are experiencing the symptoms of schizophrenia, or any other mental illness, you should seek professional assistance.




Published On: July 21, 2008