Going Crabbing: A Metaphorical Tale for Job Searching

August 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the perfect job was just sitting on a beach waiting for you to find it?

I am not a fishing person. I grew up in the solidly landlocked areas of Georgia’s Piedmont with little opportunity to fish. I am also pretty squeamish so not really a good trait for someone with a child who wants to go fishing. One of my friends is from New York and she, like me was curious about crabbing. So we decided to round up all the kids and try our hand at it knowing (and to be honest, hoping) we wouldn’t catch anything. Along the way, we learned a few things but I realized it wasn’t unlike job searching.

Tell people what you’re up to. My friend and I had only a rudimentary knowledge of crabbing using baited lines and nets. She mentioned to her husband what we were up to and he (a native Marylander with a bit more knowledge) picked up our starter equipment for us. When you’re Job Searching, tell people you’re looking and what types of positions you have in mind. You never know when someone in your network might hear about an opening.

Get the right tools in place. For crabbing we only needed a net and some twine with a special triangular shaped safety-pin like device to hold our bait. Just a few dollars of investment. Like Job Searching, you can get expensive equipment but it doesn’t necessarily mean your job search is going to go faster. Think about what you really need. Invest where you can get the most bang for your buck. Maybe you need a resume critique or your resume is fantastic but your interview skills need polishing.

Be prepared to filter the advice you receive. We did get a lot of advice from people about when to go, how to do it, the kind of location to seek out. I had also turned to my standby when trying something new, You Tube. We had to filter the information and consider the sources. Same with Job Searching. Be prepared to filter what you hear and read. It seems to me there’s always something on Yahoo about resumes, interviews, and job searching. Consider the source and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Let me add that Cindy, our Career Coach, is a multi-talented lady! Not only is she an ace at Resumes and Job Searching, she’s good at crabbing herself! When I shared with her my story, she gave me some excellent advice about times to go and sites for the best results. Advice I am using to refine my technique.

Pick the right spot. Our first foray wasn’t particularly successful as our original choice of locations was closed the day we went out. We wound up in a less than ideal spot for attracting crabs. We knew it wasn’t optimal but since our goal was really more about getting our feet wet (literally & figuratively) and building confidence in using our equipment. I learned a few things and will be better prepared for our next outing. Job Searching is the same way. If you’re just getting back into looking after a period of time, perhaps you want to start small and apply for a few things here and there. As you build your confidence and experience, it becomes easier and you refine your technique.

Find some company. It was way more fun to be an incompetent crabber with my friend and all the kids around! Same with Job Searching. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get a job offer every time you send out a resume or go on an interview. Over time, that takes a toll on your morale. Find some support from others going through the same thing – either online or in person.

Keep trying. So the first attempt didn’t work out, but we learned a few things. We’re trying again today. Just like Job Searching, you just keep trying. Send the resume out over and over. Sometimes you get a nibble, sometimes nothing’s biting.

If you’re looking for some support for your Job Search, join us at our Free Job Club on September 4th at 10 am. Contact Cindy@empowerctr.org or 410-799-1097 to RSVP or for more info.  You can also find PEC on Linked In and join our online group.

Posted by:  Heather Comstock

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