Tweak Your Biz » Management » Stuck on the M50 of the job market

Stuck on the M50 of the job market

I coined the phrase a number of years back “M50 of the job market” to describe how I viewed targeting advertised jobs in the current job market. My comparison was very evident during a radio interview this morning (Wed 19th) on Newstalk when the MD of Eirgrid revealed they received 1000 calls in one afternoon for jobs announced back in 2009. This example highlights the similarities between travellers taking the M50 as part of the journey route and jobseekers targeting advertised jobs on their path to find new employment. Both experience high volumes of competition and congestion with most ending up feeling helpless and frustrated. Neither M50 is a nice place to be but jobseekers like motorists can choose to do something about it.

Drive on the hard shoulder

By the way I don’t promote hard shoulder driving on the real M50. I am normally the one stuck in traffic giving out at these people with a little envy all the same :-). It would be crazy to ignore the low hanging fruit and therefore at some stages during a job search you will be on the M50 and applying for advertised jobs. But perhaps it is time to try a new strategy when targeting advertised jobs. A bit like we see some drivers taking the hard shoulder on the M50. It is important to become more creative when targeting advertised jobs. Do you queue with others trying to get through the front door of an organisation? Do you follow the outlined application process like the other jobseekers? Perhaps you can try to get into the company through the side door or back door with the help of your network or inject a bit of creativity the help you get noticed and stand out from the crowd.

Leave the M50 at the next exit

Liberate yourself by exiting the M50 in a bid to get to your destination quicker. Most drivers stay on the major highways believing that the traffic will start flowing again soon. Equally many jobseekers only target advertised jobs believing that this time it will be different. Once you navigate onto the back roads you will find less traffic and equally when job hunting you will find less competition. The unadvertised job market requires blind faith and moving outside our comfort zone but the rewards can be worth it. Spending all your time on the M50 of the job market means that if there are no jobs advertised your search grinds to a standstill. The opposite is true when you exit into the hidden job market as there can be no end to social, real world networking or speculative applications.

For those interested in fine tuning their hard shoulder driving skills or in need of encouragement to exit the M50 of the job market feel free to join Measurability Careers & Jobs Club on LinkedIn.

The Author:

Paul Mullan is an experienced career and outplacement professional with 14 years experience working within careers, outplacement and recruitment in the UK & Ireland. He is a former owner of Eden Recruitment and founder of career firm Measurability in 2006. Paul has delivered outplacement programmes for many leading organisations and ran graduate career workshops for leading third level institutions. He has worked with many individuals helping them define and achieve career goals through creative approaches to personal marketing and job hunting. Paul integrates traditional strategies with new Web 2.0 strategies to deliver optimum results. He is known for his up to date, creative and friendly approach to delivering career solutions. Paul is a recognised career professional regularly commenting on career related topics in the national media. He has acted as Career Doctor with Irish Independent and he is currently an online career expert with RecruitIreland.

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  • Anonymous

    Some examples of jobseekers who exited the M50 highway in the US.

  • Some Stats: (no idea where I got these from)
    Who don’t advertise or use Agencies???
    -Start Ups
    -Small companies expanding
    -Companies who cannot afford to
    -Companies who choose not to
    -Companies utilising referral systems

    50% of jobs are not advertised
    90% of all applications are received for this half of all jobs advertised
    This means…
    10% of all job applications have access to 50% of the total job pool

    Be the 10% – get off at the next exit – love the Analogy – thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thanks very much Elaine

    I will use these figures in my presentation at the Blanchardstown Partnership this morning giving you full credit of course 🙂

    Yes it’s true – they say 50% of jobs are not advertised in a normal market BUT I would say this is even higher in the current climate. It’s a bit like the iceberg comparison.

    Why is this?

    Financial – Some companies don’t have the money to pay a newspaper or agency and some companies just don’t want to.

    Time & Resources – As with the example of Eirgrid there can be huge volumes of applications. Some companies don’t have the time or resources to manage and some companies just don’t want to manage.

    Other reasons – Perhaps they don’t want the world to know they are recruiting. Perhaps referral based recruitment worked for them in the past

    Enjoy the day and weekend P

  • Enjoyed the analogy Paul – sage advice. Time to think outside the norm – not just for job-hunting either, but to ensure success in any field.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Paul,

    While reading your post I recalled the story of the guy who bought Google Ads – I see that is in the link you posted in the comments. Genius idea.

  • Anonymous

    For sure Barney – Everyone needs the ability to stand out in the crowd!!

    Enjoy the sunshine P

  • Anonymous

    Alec Brownstein has replaced Roy Keane as my new hero. Thanks for the comments.


  • Lets hope the jobs market goes the way of the M50, I’m now travelling Freeflow from Rathfarnham to Finglas everyday in Twenty minutes and when the “works” are completed, the M50 will be one of those pieces of infrstructure we can be proud of. Now if we can only get rid of the unfair tax for using it………..
    Unfair because only those people who cross the river have to pay

  • Great post Paul, I was traveling to Normandy last weekend and just outside Paris I was stuck behind a huge tailback of traffic as far as the eye could see, as I snailed along with everyone else I just decided to get off the motor-way and take the back roads all the way to my destination. So I escaped off the first exit I came too and ended up having a great road-trip, I stopped along the way for lunch in a tiny village and had a chat with an elderly couple from the area that told me stories about ‘war time’, I let the dog have a run through some corn fields, I listened to some music and sang along with the tunes of the 80’s and when I did arrive at my destination (only a hour more than if I had taken the motor-way) I was completely relaxed, cheerful and saved about 30 euros in motor-way toll charges.

    ‘Getting off the motor-way’ could be said of any area of life and often traveling the back roads lead not only to the destination of your choosing but can also supply some lovely surprises along the way….. I, for one, shall have no hesitation to jump off the motor-way again.

  • Anonymous

    @Brendan – thanks for the comments

    @Catherine – Sounds like a nice trip and 30 quid the richer for it too. I actually did a detour coming out of Waterford City on the way to Kilkenny this morning – a nice way of saying I got lost. What is it with Ireland and signage 🙂

  • It’s my pleasure, Ivana! Yes, Jill is a sales superstar and a great lady. Thank you for the opportunity and thanks to another biz superstar, Anita @smallbiztrends for the intro….. to the power of online to connect people. Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Hi Daniel, nice to see someone else talking about the good uses of Twitterfeed.u00a0 I’ve been using it for nearly a year now and wouldn’t be without it.u00a0 I (mistakenly) thought most people were using it for publishing RSS feeds that they found useful.

  • Hi Mairu00e9ad. That’s not a mistake! I think that’s what a lot of people DO use it for, but publishing your own content with it is just an extension of that I guess.u00a0

  • Thanks for the comment, Niall. Have used Hootsuite a little too. Not sure if Twitterfeed really has any advantages over that. Either way you can mix automated posting with a little real-life stuff I gues!

  • Thanks Breda, glad the post was of interest to a few people

  • Well said Kathleen! 🙂

  • Such a pity it isn’t available for companies from N.Ireland to enter. Would love to have entered!