Management March 9, 2010 Last updated March 14th, 2010 5,719 Reads share

Job Hunting – Fools don’t back horses

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My horse gambling career started when I was 15 and finished that same year to the great disappointment of Paddy Power. I lack patience and didn’t think backing horses was a quick enough way to lose my money :-). Backing horses is gambling and gambling is defined as placing money on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money. To me gambling is risk-taking as you are taking actions that might have unpleasant or undesirable results. This article is not served to promote gambling on horse racing but instead to promote gambling/risk-taking when job hunting or in business. As Robert F. Kennedy said “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”.

Head in the sand – Many jobseekers suffer from Ostrich Syndrome and bury their heads in the sand avoiding the honest reality that things are not working. Some of these jobseekers are stubborn and stick with traditional methods. It is important to be honest and accept the truth. A simple review of activity highlights results and results never lie. Are you getting the results you desire? If not then it is time for change. This change will involve moving out of your comfort zone, injecting creativity to your approach and inevitably taking risks. For those jobseekers intent on sticking to unsuccessful approaches I recommend Dublin Zoo. For those who lack the know-how to change or are stumped by fear then please read on.

Is there a risk? – I prefer to see risk as creativity as this disguise makes it seem less daunting. Jobseekers must realise that if they are not landing interviews or job offers then there is actually no risk as there is nothing to lose. Injecting creativity into job hunting can help jobseekers get noticed and stand out in the crowd. Pushing the limits to increase visibility exposes jobseekers to more opportunities. Depending on circumstances this creativity or risk can be subtle changes or major overhaul. For those jobseekers lacking inspiration seek out SME owners, work colleagues, friends or career professionals – I get my inspiration from like minded business owners!!

Ready, Fire, Aim – Fear is another hurdle and a paragraph certainly doesn’t do the topic justice. I stole “Ready, Fire, Aim” from Jack Canfield’s book “Success Principles”. He indicated that too many people spend their time getting ready and aiming but never actually pull the trigger. Perhaps we should get ready and just fire. Then review and adjust our aim to get closer to the target. Some of your efforts will crash and burn but you know what I crash and burn daily. Rather than stop me it actually helps me because what others call failure I call learning opportunities. I believe there are too many fantastic and highly skilled jobseekers holding themselves back when a bit of creativity and risk taking could transform results. As Andre Malraux says “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

I will leave you with two questions. Firstly “Do fools back horses when job hunting or in Biz?” and secondly “Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?” (Tom Peters) Interested in you comments and views …..

P.S. For jobseekers interested I am providing a FREE presentation at 6.30pm on 25th March sponsored by the Dublin City Central Library. The topic – “Job Hunting – Creative ways to increase visibility & land more opportunities”. For more information and to book a place email You can also access me at Measurability Careers & Jobs Club.

Paul Mullan

Paul Mullan

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