Check The Forecast

Most make a point to check the weather forecast when making plans for a weekend or a vacation. Knowing ahead of time what conditions to prepare for is key to the planning process and helps ensure a positive experience. Job seekers need to do the same thing with their search. It’s imperative to take in whatever information is available in terms of trends, events, legislation, etc., that shed light on what may develop in the future so job seekers can better decide what destinations to target and what gear they may need for the journey and once they arrive.

Every day I meet individuals looking for work who haven’t armed themselves with enough information on the direction business is heading. They don’t know who the businesses are in their area, what those business are up to and what economic, political and social developments influence their potential for success. These are things job seekers must have an understanding of in order to make the sell they are a good fit for helping a company to not just survive, but thrive.

The information is out there. Much of it is low hanging fruit. It may not be as simple as logging on to a web site or turning on the television for a quick glance at a weather forecast, but it isn’t nearly as labor intensive as it was prior to the internet and the age of 24/7 news channels. I often hear individuals say they don’t have the time to dedicate to researching this stuff. I personally feel they don’t have the time NOT to take a look at what’s happening around them. Being in the know can substantially reduce one’s time on the shelf of unemployment. Find the time. Seek out advice on efficient ways to obtain information. Develop solid networking channels so you can pull from the efforts of others. Show prospective employers you are interested enough in being relevant and helping their company succeed to choose enlightenment over ignorance.

5 Comments

  • Scot Richards says:

    Insightful commentary Lisa. Sometimes hearing relatively obvious things from a voice other than one’s own is enough to take another look at how one is spending the their time. It is always a matter of priorities; not having the time means not making the time.

    @Scot_R

  • Lisa says:

    Scot, it is pretty obvious. Your last sentence is the heart of the issue. So often when I hear “I don’t have time” it’s also evident the person doesn’t have the interest. My Grandfather told me at a young age to always stay curious. The curious go places, have a more interesting existence and are less likely to make the mistake of believing/acting on what they see on the surface exclusively.

  • David Brooks says:

    Lisa, I have taken the time to do research before an interview and I agree with your post however, when using the information found, I find that some or most interviewers don’t know that information about the company and can’t answer my questions. It left me woundering if I may have lost a possible position because the interviewer didn’t know how to answer my question about their company. Maybe its a company that I wouldn’t want to work for anyway or maybe its my presentation and how I asked the question. That said, I will always know the company that I’m interviewing for.

  • Lisa says:

    David, that doesn’t surprise me. In those situations the key is finding a way to show off what you know while leaving the interviewer thinking adding you would help them fill in a missing gap in terms of knowledge. You certainly don’t want the person interviewing you to be left feeling dumb. My post wasn’t so much about researching companies ahead of interviews, however. Though I’m totally down with that. My point is more about taking a look at the big picture and following trends so job seekers can better guess where opportunity is likely to be down the road and what they’ll need to be equipped with to capture it. For example, it’s stunning to me so few job seekers know the platforms of those running for political office and are ignorant of pending or newly passed legislation that directly affect business in their state. To me that’s a tactical error.

  • David Brooks says:

    Lisa, I understand the point that you are making about looking at the bigger picture and trends in industry directions. To me trends are a very difficult gage to go with just because I.T. is changing rapidly. It seems that I’m always behind the curve and that’s not where I want to be. For example, health care has been promoted as a growth industry, but in my short time there it’s a business with the same issues as all other businesses. On the other hand, health care givers in certain areas are in demand and just like any other position they will not always be there because of changes in technology. Perhaps you can give me some direction on ways to follow trends, Thanks !

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