Another job search post

I have to admit. I have not been very active in sending out resumes this past week. A few half-hearted attempts. The lack of responses is getting to me. I have never sent out so many resumes in a single job search nor taken so long. A nagging inner voice is always at the back of my mind creating self-doubts that I hastily brushed aside.

I have decided to expand on my search by applying to some of the local firms as well.

Mr Wang’s post came at an appropriate timing. Something to chew on.

“Hopping As a Survival Strategy (And I Don’t Just Mean Frogs)”

Mr Wang Says So said…

Well, yes, very abrupt jumps would be difficult, but some people may be overestimating the difficulties and also overlooking the possibilities, because they didn’t realise that they already possess certain kinds of skills or experience which are helpful for the jump.Eg recently Mrs Wang was seriously approached for a certain job opportunity even though she didn’t really have the right technical experience.It turned out that apart from technical experience, they badly needed someone who was fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese (they do lots of HK and China-related work) and Mrs Wang happens to be fluent in both, such that the language skill element outweighted her lack of relevant technical experience.Currently the general job market is very hot. When a job ad says that the candidate must have, say, 5 particular attributes, this very often turns out to be just an idle wishlist. There just aren’t any completely suitable candidates. In the end, the company is going to have to settle for someone who only meets 2, 3 or 4 of those attributes.

Of course there are other things you can do, to prepare yourself for a jump. This chemical engineering friend of mine foresaw that his job would eventually be outsourced to China, hence he invested in studying for an MBA. He’ll graduate soon and the intention is to leave the technical side of engineering completely behind. Of course there was opportunity cost and all that.

As for me personally, I constantly evaluate back-up plans against the backdrop of my career developments as well as the general industry/economy outlook. See, here are examples of back-up plans I’ve considered before – 1, 2, 3 and 4. In brief – Masters in Law; moving to HK; financial qualifications; brushing up on my Mandarin skills etc.

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I do have some attributes to sell on. Need to brush up on my pitching. Taking a particular course will help but my intention is to pursue it after I get the job. Am not sure if I should mention it during interviews as some bosses may frown on employees taking time off for study. Or maybe I need to seek more opinions on my resume.

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Anonymous said…
Appreciate your comments, Mr Wang. ok, true mkt hot according to papers,but it’s not easy to find a job just like that *snap fingers* for my case as 1) I do not want to *anyhow jump* for sake of jumping and 2) admittedly not very sure what exactly I want-which is frustrating-and having said that I know no use wringing my hands over it and I tried to narrow down fields that I qualify and have some level of interest which brings to 3) difficulty in getting in. Or if I do manage to get into a new field-it’d mean a paycut and likely fresh grad pay (after working 6 yrs).
Am surprised to hear of Mrs Wang eg. and that you mentioned if the job ask for 5 attibutes, go ahead and apply even if you don’t meet all? Did I understand rightly? I thought you are supposed to apply only if you fit the bill. I mean eg: ads that say “preferably a degree in business etc”-so if I have a degree in something else eg: Arts-can apply?Does a backup plan always (or usually)involves learning some new skills or knowledge?like acquiring some additional planks to aid you to cross the river? Anon @5.43.
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This person seems to be in a rather similar situation. Point 1 is my concern too. After some rounds of interviews, I have a specific role I want. Therefore, point 2 is not an issue. Point 3 is my main hurdle currently. It requires selling myself specifically on relevant skills set in place of relevant experiences. Past experiences had proven that I really need to brush up on this area. And there is no way, I am accepting a fresh graduate’s pay package. I am prepare to take a cut but I still expect to be pay within market rates for the role.
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