Since launching this blog, I have been asked by several readers how I managed to have 42 blind dates. It was really not all that difficult – I just made my mind up that if I were ever going to find the lasting relationship I was looking for, then I needed to be open to any and all possibilities.
Was it easy? No way…when I started out, I was scared to death! My self-confidence had been shattered when my marriage ended – pretty much the same as one’s self-confidence is shattered when they are fired or laid off from a job – the last thing I wanted to do was risk getting rejected again. But, I faced fear in the face, let my family and friends know that I was willing and eager to meet new people (I admit, “eager” was somewhat of an over statement), and I also joined a dating “club” (this was prior to Match.com and e-Harmony days).
When looking for work, statistics have shown that the person with the most interviews has the shortest job search. In fact, it is advised that a job seeker have three to five interviews a week. Yes, I said “3-5 a week”!
I know what you are thinking: “that’s impossible.” After all, haven’t you sent out dozens of resumes – maybe even hundreds – and the phone just isn’t ringing?! Yeah, the first few years that I was single, my phone wasn’t ringing either. It wasn’t until I proactively began talking to people and making connections that my phone finally started ringing – A LOT!
You need to stop thinking of an interview as something that happens to you when someone reads your résumé and invites you in to talk. Here’s my proactive (and much more fruitful) definition of an interview:
“An interview is any conversation with anyone about your knowledge, skills and abilities and what you have to offer your target audience.”
Employers do not drive the job search process – you do. You need to get out and talk to people. Let everyone know what you have to offer and what you are seeking. Start by talking to people you know and then ask if they can suggest someone else you can talk to. Don’t discard any opportunity for an interview. You will learn something from every conversation – about the job market, about your target companies, about how to get your foot in the door, and about yourself. You’ll meet lots of interesting people (and not-so-interesting people) and you’ll get a clearer picture of what you want and don’t want. The more you do this, more and more opportunities will appear.
Think of it this way: Employers prefer to hire people they know and people they like. Your job is to get out there and make sure plenty of people know you and know what you have to offer.
Feel free to shoot me an email and let me know how many interviews you had this week. I may even know someone I can “hook you up with”!