THE BLOG
11/19/2013 06:02 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

"Finding Work" Reader's FAQ

From readers of Finding Work When there Are No Jobs.

1. Isn't job search just a numbers game? More resumes = Better chance?
No. That would be rational. And job search is not rational. The thinking behind sending out as many resumes as you can is a hard habit to break. Because most often more IS better. But not when it comes to sending a resume to a stranger, an anonymous email address or a job board. Of course, people do win lotteries. So a resume to a stranger can work. But why take those odds?

2. How do I get past a gatekeeper?
Make the gatekeeper function unnecessary.

3. How?
As you already know, the answer will be different every time. So finding your answer, not a one-size -fits-all answer is what matters. Stop searching for formulas, shortcuts or experts. Use the power of the stories and questions in Finding Work When There Are No Jobs to prompt your own answer to the question.

4. Why do you say "stop networking" on the cover of the book?
To draw attention to how the word "networking" has lost its meaning. With loss of meaning comes loss of power. And that hurts the jobseeker. Networking can mean:
• Building a 500+ Linked In list of contacts. All without once exchanging a personal note or meeting one in person.
• Hovering silently in the corner of a networking event clutching a weak drink.
• Sending an email to a CEO you've never met.
• Being a naturally she person in a situation that calls for you to be talkative.

What's happened in today's brutally hard jobs market is that these half heartened partial connections we group under the umbrella of networking are simply no longer enough to get the job.

The idea that "knowing someone" is enough, isn't dead. But its fading. What's replacing it is community. The new thinking from successful job seekers using the book has given rise to a pragmatic question, "What communities do I belong to?" Any kind of community. A volunteer group, alumni association, religious group, neighborhood, extended family or people who used to work for your old company back in the day. All of them can work. The needs that generate work and jobs come from communities. And when you are in communities, there are no gatekeepers in your way. You are "in the club." You are inside. You are already positioned to do the job.

5. Why can't my school's Career Development Department help me?
Career development departments can often see their mission as teaching. They are, after all, part of a school. So they concentrate on teaching skills. Resumes and interviews. All essential. But not enough.

The new thinking on career development operations is that businesses are their customers too. That can be a radical change. It means stepping outside the boundaries of the academy. Bringing in non-academic people. And that is an immensely hard sell because it means "letting strangers into an exclusive club." Some academic groups have overcome this limitation. But its still a radical thought. A tough sell. Even when a peek outside school grounds finds best practice organizations like the cutting edge "i.c. stars" a Chicago based organization that partners with businesses in offering both Residency and Fellowship Programs operationalized in a way that could prompt even the most prestigious academic institutions to come and take notes.

Why can't my school career development group help me?

Maybe they don't know how.

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Part II FAQ from readers coming next week will be on Ageism, Career Experts, Outsourcing, Blaming the Victim, and explaining joblessness to the novice.
Contact Roger with your question at www.findingwork.org Or the "Virtual Community" Linked IN Group "Job Search Alternatives." All are welcome!