How to Catch a Break in a Bad Job Market
Thanks to the economy, getting the “in” you need, or the job you want, or the career that will really light your fire can be maddeningly frustrating these days. But you can make it happen, especially if you use what I call the TBBH strategy (Take the Bull By the Horns). When I visited Toronto a couple of days ago to promote my new book, I discovered two young women who’d put this strategy into play quite brilliantly.
The first example involves the awesome publicist at my Canadian publisher who coordinated my PR appearances. It turns out she had actually spent the first five years of her career as a chef. But as she looked ahead and imagined kids in her life, she knew she didn’t want to work crazy chef hours for the long term. Some exploration led her to the idea of going into book publishing. But there was a hitch. She’d attended culinary school, not college. After hearing about a special publishing program for college grads, she went to see the man who ran it–and she made her pitch to him: “Let me be the first person who attends who isn’t a college grad.” He said he’d take her on if she spent three months interning in a publishing company. So that’s what she did. When she returned to him, he told her the class was full, but she reminded him of his promise and he found room. And that’s how her second career began.
The second example is a woman who had just started in an entry level position at my publisher’s. How did she get the job in such a sucky market? At a conference, she heard a man speak about social media and the book business. Afterwards, she went up to him and said how impressed she was with his work and his company. I asked her if anyone else had done that kind of thing that day? No. She stayed in touch with him and when a job opened up, he made contact and eventually hired her.
It’s just so clear how these women got what they wanted. Rather than waiting around, they determined where the bull was and yanked it hard by its horns. So find the person who can help you with your next career step, walk up to him or her, make your case, and then show you mean business.