It’s play-off time for your job search – what do you have to lose?

Are you conducting a job search like it's the last 5 minutes of your championship play-off game?

Here comes another basketball metaphor about your job search.

A few nights ago, my Varsity HS Girls Basketball Team played in the first round of the State Playoffs. In our section we were ranked 6th out of 32 teams. We played a team ranked 24 and almost lost.

Why? It should have been an easy win – a no-brainer.

At playoff time, teams change – they go from being conservative, playing careful, doing the same old thing, and usually playing within their capability. At playoff time, lower ranked teams hike it up to whole other level. They play with complete abandon – and give it a 110%.

What do the lower ranked teams have to lose? If they don’t win, their season ends right now. And if they can pull off one more win – they get to come back and play another game. Many upsets occur, because lower ranked teams fight as hard as they ever fought, they do everything they can to influence the outcome, and they leave nothing on the table.

If you asked the team last night that lost to us in the last 5 minutes of the game if they had any regrets – if any of the players felt they had not played as hard as they could – and the answer would be an overwhelming “I gave it everything I could”.

When asked that question, our higher ranked girls would have said there was a lot they could have done and they were disappointed in their performance since they didn’t “work hard enough”. They were coasting on their high ranking, thinking their past track record could speak for itself.

Are you guilty of this dysfunctional thinking in your job search?

If you ask most candidates that question about their job search, I would predict that most candidates would have significant regrets about their commitment, energy, and intensity regarding their job search.

Most candidates are not willing to “go beyond the call of duty” in their job search.

Most candidates could not claim that they have “outworked their peers” in their job search.

Most candidates are just doing the same thing over and over (Benjamin Franklin’s Definition of Insanity).

No wonder the typical executive/senior management job search is now significantly over 6 months. Here are some questions to ponder about your job search:

  • What are you doing in your job search that your peers are unwilling to do?
  • What are doing this week that represents a high level of energy, commitment, and intensity in your job search than last week?
  • How would you quantify the effort and intensity of your job search?
  • Shouldn’t you be treating your job search like it’s play-off time and it’s the last 5 minutes of what could be the last game of the season or your entire career?
  • Are you going beyond the call of duty in your job search?

What could you be doing differently that would represent a higher level of commitment, energy, and intensity?

This is just a small list of the hundreds of things you could be doing in your job search to reduce the time it takes to find a great opportunity. Most of your peers are unwilling to invest the time to do these job search best practices. Are you willing be to do what it takes to win – to go beyond what most of your peers do in their job search – or would you rather coast in the middle of the pack?

Have you downloaded our FREE Job Search Preparation Scorecard to see if you’re doing everything you can to conduct an effective job search?

What’s holding you back from pouring everything you’ve got into your job search?

Barry Deutsch

Jump into the Questions and Answers in our popular LinkedIn Discussion Group to discover what some candidates are doing that truly represents an effort to go “beyond the call of duty”.

About the Author

Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

1 Comment

  • By Paul Tasner, February 24, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    I’m a big sports fan; particularly, basketball. Nevertheless, I really dislike the overuse of sports metaphors. . . However, I think that it really works very well in this case, Barry. Not surprisingly, it can be applied to many endeavors in life, not merely one’s job search. Well done, sir.

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