Don’t succumb to the job search cluster funk

It constantly amazes me that there seems to be a growing and never-ending supply of experts touting their version of job search expertise all across the planet. Apparently, anyone who has ever had a job, applied for a job or even heard the word job is now well qualified to sport the label of career expert. A funky phenomenon that expands exponentially as the great recession drags on…

Clearly, it makes no difference whether any of these freshly, self-appointed experts bring any true, experience-based awareness about their subject matter of choice. Rather, the important thing is that they are – according to their misplaced intentions – paying it forward and giving back by offering to help anyone they encounter with their brand of enlightenment. Their method and message is inconsequential, as long as enough people can be convinced to focus any amount of attention on them and their brilliant ideas about how others should go about finding employment.

As I conduct ongoing research related to assorted topics in the employment arena, I can’t seem to escape the constant barrage of nonsense being portrayed as legitimate and credible information and advice. Evidently there is a huge appetite amongst job seekers for this peculiar blend of outdated, ineffective, misleading and absurd information. Much of it is recycled from decades past by out of touch individuals who haven’t bothered to stay current in how things have evolved over the years. Some people even seem to have a cult-like obsession over certain programs and providers of this content, regardless of inaccuracy or missing connection to modern, real-world scenarios.

My point is not to suggest that there isn’t valuable information to be found, or actual experts offering useful guidance. The issue is there seems to be far more faux experts than those who actually provide appropriate direction to those in need. From my observations and frequent interactions with job seekers, the average person doesn’t necessarily have the insight needed to decipher what fits their situation.

Just recently, I attended a career-related presentation that was so indescribable. First of all, the main reason I went was due to my perverse curiosity after seeing the completely incoherent promotional ad for the event. As atrocious as that was, it didn’t even come close to the actual delivery, tone and approach during the hour and half session. Despite cringing and squirming in my seat, I endured the painful fiasco in the name of market research.

Having previously attended similar presentations that were equally dreadful, it was practically impossible to feign interest. The only way that I can think of to define the experience was that in the midst of my agony I jotted down the term: CF. Yes, it was that bad! Thus, that incident instantly became the inspiration for the sanitized version of this article’s title.

The worst part of the above is knowing that people are unknowingly being harmed by their eagerness to find a fast and easy solution. Most of them want to take the quickest route to end their job search, yet they do the opposite by absorbing and drowning in buckets of sludge.

The analogy that comes to mind is a shriveled up sponge being dropped into a sink full of dirty dishes that have been left covered in crusty, gooey morsels of food scraps. As the globs of gunk make their way onto the sponge, it plumps back up almost looking normal. But alas, it’s just full of garbage.

In honor of Labor Day, I encourage job seekers to avoid treating their professional future like a disposable kitchen sponge. Take ownership of your progress. Be discerning in vetting advice or advisors and don’t succumb to the cluster funk.

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!


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