Consider yourself to be self-employed – it’s the key to getting a job

If at the moment you haven’t got a job, the best way to find one is to consider yourself to be self-employed, the CEO of Yourself & Co.

For a start, using this approach, you are not unemployed; you are self-employed and that can make a big difference to the way you feel about yourself. You need to maintain a positive self-image, to have confidence in yourself and to believe that you’re going to be successful. What you see is what you get.

Secondly, as CEO of a micro-business currently without ‘customers’, what do you want your Chief Sales Rep to be doing, 9-5, Mon-Fri? Being pro-active and reaching out to prospective ‘customers’- in this case, of course, prospective employers. Yes, job seeking is a full-time job or as full time as you can afford to make it.

Research in the US found that being pro-active makes you more than five times as likely to be successful. Professor Mo Wang, Director of the Human Resource Research Center, Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida, in a study surveying almost 10,000 job seekers, found that those who use a pro-active approach to the job search were 5.88 times as likely to be successful than those who don’t (http://news.ufl.edu/archive/2014/05/motivation-enhancement-key-for-success-in-job-training-programs-uf-study-says.html).

But being pro-active does not mean spending all the time sending out applications to every possible position. That is junk mail and junk mail does not make for many sales for little known brands – and most job seekers should consider themselves to be little known brands.

Successful small businesses don’t try to market to everyone; they select a niche market and show how they meet the specific needs of that market. That’s what job seekers need to do – identify a few specific positions and spend time researching those and building trusting relationships with a few relevant people in the target organisations. These people don’t have to be senior management – I have found it best to start with those who would be work colleagues if the job seeker is successful.

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