The truth is that it isn’t a lack of information that stops you from getting the engineering jobs that they want. You can go online today and find information on anything you want to achieve or obtain in this life weather it be a job, career or finances. Yet with all this information out there many of us still are still struggling to achieve our highest ambitions. I have been reading the book “The Slight Edge” and although this book has nothing to do with the job search a lot of the philosophies within it can apply to the job search.
The premise for this book is that major achievements are not attained via great leaps and bounds but only by small advances made consistently and compounded over time. Below are some of the key lessons from the Slight Edge that I wish I think can apply directly to the job search.
How to get a job – An engineering Job
Instant results: Years ago I became frustrated with my job search and decided to read the book 44 Insider Secrets That Will Get You Hired. Once I read it I began applying concepts from the book on my resume and assumed that I would see a 360 degree shift in my responses from employers. I must have sent out over 20 updated resumes in a week and was expecting to hear back from organizations right away since I had improved my resume writing. I was disappointed when I heard heard nothing back and assumed that the strategies didn’t work, so I went back to my old way of doing things.
Roughly three months later I began noticing that i was receiving phone calls based on the customized resumes I had developed. I then realized I had missed out on numerous opportunities because i gave up on using the approach when I didn’t see instant results.
If you apply to several engineering jobs and go to numerous networking events but see zero results it can be easy to assume that things aren’t working but this isn’t true. It may just be that the results that you seek are lagging the actions you are taking.
A perfect example of this can be found in cooking where you can be the best chef in the world and have the top ingredients in your food but there is no substitute for putting the food on the stove and allowing it to cook. The exception is of course if you are making fast food but the price you pay for fast is that it’s not high quality e.g. You could probably get a bad job pretty fast.
Master the Mundane – Majority of the daily activities you will be doing in order to get the job of your dreams are not that glamorous. We often feel the need to do something off the charts otherwise it doesn’t feel like we are making any progress.
An aggressive play in any sports may occasionally work but long term success requires becoming excellent at doing the mundane fundamentals. If you play an instrument you would be familiar with mastering things like scales and practicing half an hour a day, none of these are exciting. Yet the mastery of these mundane activities are what inevitably allow you to do amazing things.
The engineering job search is no different, there is nothing glamorous about contacting people you don’t know and asking them to go to coffee. Neither is it any fun having to customize a cover letter and resume for each job that you apply for. None of these activities are rocket science and are easy to do yet they are also easy not to do because they seem so trivial and provide no instant feedback.
Most people seek a silver bullet that will give them a job in 30 days and you will probably see some books that claim this is possible. Unfortunately in this job market there is no silver bullet just like there is no quick and easy way to become healthy overnight.
There are the occasional times someone may get lucky but for most normal folks it will come down to taking it comes down to taking consistent action and not giving up on yourself because you don’t see instant results.
Believing before you see the results – When you first start taking positive actions you may not see instant results right away and if you base your choices strictly on what you see then you may become demoralized. You must believe in yourself and the process and only then will you see the results.
Think about any great journey you have ever taken. When you first leave your house you can’t see the destination right away but that doesn’t mean that the destination doesn’t exist. It only means you need to continue taking the right actions in order to get there. The same applies in your search as you need to believe you will get to the destination even if some days there seems to be nothing in sight.
You wouldn’t turn around because you couldn’t see the destination during a journey and the same applies to your job search. Don’t give up just because you haven’t yet seen the results, have faith and that faith will give you patience to endure the rejection letters and people who don’t respond to your messages e.t.c.
The slight edge is a great book and has really helped me remain consistent particularly in writing blogs, especially when I start doubting if they are actually making a difference. I remain motivated by knowing that one single piece of advice can make a huge difference in your job search. Knowing this gives me the faith and the persistence to get out of bed and type articles when I would rather go back to bed. If you take nothing else from this article remember that great success rarely comes from quantum leaps but from small advances hammered out daily and compounded over time.
These are the three tips related to how to get a job