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Last Updated on November 20, 2017

Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

If you were looking for a new job, how would you go about finding one? Instinctively you’d probably start off by filtering through all of the common job archive websites; Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, etc. in order to find something related to your field. Which is fine, if you don’t mind settling.

We have been programmed to work this way, to take whatever job is convenient in order to pay the bills and support our lifestyle. For many this system works well enough. But this is how people fall into complacent jobs that don’t truly satisfy them.

If you want to land the job of your dreams, you’re going to have to go out there and get it

    The truth is, the best jobs aren’t listed. Around 80% of opportunities in the market are not open to the public and can only be acquired internally. So if you’re basing your search on the 20% that have actually been listed, you’re going to have a very difficult time landing that dream job.

    So instead, you’ll end up with a job that “works for now.” Eventually you’ll come across the job you’ve been striving for and make the switch. But what if that opportunity never comes? You’ll most likely fall into a routine with your sub-par job and justify it by saying that most people never get to have their dream job.

    How can you solve that issue? By taking the initiative and creating an opportunity. But before you’re able to finagle your way into your dream company, you must first understand why 80% of jobs are not available to the public, and how to work that fact to your advantage.

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        1. Businesses are not sure what or who they are looking for

          This is usually true for startup businesses that are trying to expand into a new market. It’s uncommon ground, so it’s tough to project what they really need.

          If they don’t know who or what they’re looking for in order to move in a new direction, then it’s nearly impossible to create a job ad for a position that does not yet exist.

          What they need is human resources. A fresh perspective that can give them a new edge. This is the perfect opportunity for you to up-sell yourself and the value that you can bring to the company.

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          Take a look at their weaknesses and what could be improved. You could be the answer to all of their problems. Offer your skills in such a way that they can’t afford not to have you.

          2. Companies tend to train-up internal staff instead of hiring new employees.

          Some employers don’t want to go through the grueling trial and error of the interviewing process. Unsure if they’ll be able to find the people with the skills they’re looking for, they will train their already existing staff to do the job instead.

          The mentality is, “the more I invest in my employees, they more likely they are to stay and contribute.” While in some cases this may be true, it’s not very cost efficient and may not work out as they hoped.

          There is no certainty that the employees will stay, especially if there is a change in their job description. Many people are creatures of habit and want to stick to what they know.

          It can be difficult to predict how much time could be wasted training employees to learn these new skills. And in that time you’re taking man power away from already existing projects. In turn, those projects could be neglected and end up hurting the company.

          This is your golden opportunity. Showcase the fact that you already possess the skills they are looking for. Explain the resources they could save by simply hiring you instead of training up their staff. Your drive and passion will make you stand out as the best cost-efficient choice.

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          3. The company truly does not have any openings.

          There is still room for opportunity here. Similar to the previous points, you can scale the company for their weaknesses and needs, and offer yourself as the solution. You could bring ideas to light that probably would have never been considered.

          Your attention to detail and willingness to improve will make you a valuable asset.

          What you do for work is important because it affects your happiness too

          Your dream job isn’t going to fall into your lap. You need to be a little aggressive and create that opportunity. Even if the company of your dreams truly isn’t looking for new employees right now, they will remember you if you make a good impression.

          Your job doesn’t have to just pay the bills. With the right career, you can find your purpose, devote yourself to your work, and live a meaningful life that brings you satisfaction.

          I mean think about it, you spend the majority of your life working. If you don’t enjoy your job, then you’re leading a miserable life. On average, you spend 8 hours a day at work. That’s 22 working days out of the month; 2,112 hours a year! Wouldn’t you rather spend all of that time working towards something you truly care about?

          Mental Notes On How To Manifest Your Destiny!

          At this point I’m sure I’ve got you convinced. You deserve the job of your dreams. In order to approach these opportunities and make them a reality, there are three components to keep in mind:

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          1. Display expectations for yourself, and the company

          Check out resources such as LinkedIn to research the expectations for the job you are pitching for. Research the job descriptions for a grade or two above your skill set. See what goals you need to work towards and which skills you need to improve.

          Explain the progression you would like to see in yourself, and how your progression will benefit the future of the company. Self-reflection is very important to employers, so be transparent about which skills you need to improve upon that can also improve the company.

          2. Understand competitions the company is facing

          In order to understand what the company needs, you need to know what they’re competition is doing. Is it working for them? Could you advance those ideas and make them your own?

          Show them that you know which issues they are facing, and suggest strategies to solve these issues. Offer your skills and explain how they will give them a new edge in this growing market.

          3. Don’t just tell them what you can do, show them.

          Prepare a portfolio of your previous projects to show off your capabilities and experience. After explaining what you have done, tell them your plans for the future. What are you doing to enhance your skills? What could have been improved in previous projects?

          If you show that you are actively improving your skill set, prospective employers can expect that your skills will improve their business plan.

          So remember, don’t wait for the perfect job. Create it.

          More by this author

          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

          The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

          It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

          Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

          “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

          In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

          New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

          There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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          So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

          What is the productivity paradox?

          There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

          In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

          He wrote in his conclusion:

          “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

          Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

          How do we measure productivity anyway?

          And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

          In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

          But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

          In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

          But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

          Possible causes of the productivity paradox

          Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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          • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
          • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
          • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
          • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

          There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

          According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

          Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

          The paradox and the recession

          The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

          “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

          This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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          According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

          Looking forward

          A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

          “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

          Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

          “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

          On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

          Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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