Turn Job Shopping into Job Hunting
“I must create a System, or be enslav’d by another Man’s.” -William Blake
Shoppers buy products that are easy to find and are popular with other shoppers. When I go to the supermarket, I shop. I buy the things that the store has on hand.
The people who buy products for resale decide what products to buy based on the amount of profit in a product and how quickly a product sells. If a buyer invests in a product that sells for a 50 percent profit and takes six months to sell, the buyer might consider the product a good investment. If the product sells for a 1% profit and take six months to sell, the buyer might consider the product a risky investment. On the other hand, if the buyer invests in a product that returns a 1% profit and sells in one week for weeks on end, the buyer will more likely see that product as a lower risk. The buyer can sell that product four times before the bill comes due from the supplier.
The less space a product takes on the shelf is also important. Retailers try to make the most profit possible per square foot.
The place where the retailer is most likely to sell the most products is at the checkout stand. The simple reason is that everyone must go through the checkout aisle to buy any products.
Chewing gum, mints, and popular magazines take little space, sell very quickly, and get the premium spot in retail stores. Retailers place these products at the checkout stand where every customer must go before leaving with any purchases.
So when I go shopping, I am buying things that buyers consider a good investment. In most cases, shopping satisfies all my needs and wants.
When I hunt for a product, I take my efforts to a higher level. I want something that buyers may not consider a good investment and do not regularly stock.
Buyers value customers as much as they value profit on an individual product. I moved to Sacramento from Houston. While living in Houston, I developed a taste for Tab colas. When I moved to Sacramento, I discovered that most retailers do not even carry Tab and that the bottler shipped Tab only in six-packs and not in twelve-packs. The price of a six-pack of Tab was the same as the price of a twelve-pack of Coca-Cola.
To get all this information, I had to do some hunting. I spoke with the store manager at the Raley’s market where my wife and I regularly shop. I called the buyer at the Raley’s headquarters. I called the vice president of sales at the bottling company that made the Tab.
I became a product hunter. The bottling company agreed to bill the store where I bought Tab the twelve-pack price for two six-packs of Tab. The store began to stock Tab, which invariably sold out as soon as the product came in. In response to the out of stocks, the store began to keep a back room stock for me to pick up when I was in the store.
Retail shopping and job shopping are similar. Job shoppers go to the regular places everyone shops for jobs.
- Job boards
- Corporate Recruiters
- Company websites
- Current contacts in their networks
Job shoppers find the jobs that hiring companies promote the highest. Job shopping may fit your needs. You may find that you can pick from a variety of jobs.
However, you may not want to settle for what you find from job shopping. Just as I found when I moved from Houston to Sacramento and attempted to buy Tab Colas, you may need to go to the job sources to get the job for you. You may need to become a job hunter.
A job hunter decides what to hunt for and where to find it. If a job hunter wants to work as an aviation mechanic, the job hunter goes to an airport or airplane factory.
Job hunters decide what concessions or compromises to make. A job hunter who is willing to live anywhere will have more places to apply for a job. Job hunters who accept contract, full-time, part-time, or temporary work increase the number of jobs for which they can apply.
Job hunters take a direct approach to get a job with a specific company.
- They create or expand their list of contacts who work for the company or have worked for the company.
- This list has no value if job hunters do not use them. Job hunters introduce themselves or ask other people to introduce them to people who work for the company.
- Through these introductions, job hunters build professional relationships who can help them know more people at the company.
- They work with these relationships to get recommendations for the job they are seeking.
Building relationships in job hunting takes time. Some trails lead nowhere. Job hunters track more than one opportunity at a time.
Job hunters know that no matter how many relationships they make at a company, pursuing a career at that company may just never happen.
- Yet there are always other companies and realizing when a trail is a dead-end is discouraging but helpful information.
- Relationships at a company along a dead-end trail are sometimes the relationships who lead to the next opportunity.
- Job hunters look for opportunities within opportunities. As their contact list grows, they look for overlaps in connections. A person who cannot help them can connect them with the person who can.
Job hunters take action.
- Job hunters call people. If a job hunter needs to speak with someone, the job hunter picks up the phone and calls that person.
- Job shoppers send emails asking people to call them.
- Job shoppers are passive. They feel no need to be resourceful.
- Job hunters are fearless and aggressive. They do not ask other people to take action. Job hunters act.
Not everyone needs to become a job hunter. The role does not fit everyone. However, there is a whole world of opportunity that exists only for the job hunters.
Image: Irina Patrascu/Flickr