Management May 20, 2010 Last updated May 20th, 2010 2,743 Reads share

Stuck on the M50 of the job market

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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.

Paul Mullan

Paul Mullan

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