Students often ask me, “What’s the best way I can…
…get a job?”
…create my résumé or CV?”
…write a cover letter?”
…prepare for a job interview?”
…talk to my advisor?”
…present a job talk?”
Many individuals are hoping to find the “best way,” as in one single way because it adds clarity about what works and what doesn’t, and knowing the best way could also conceivably shorten the time it takes to achieve a task, and/or improve the results. Additionally, an individual may have lived experiences where there really was only one best way to accomplish a desired goal.
But let’s explore job searching within the U.S., because this is a process that truly relies on engaging in MANY “best ways,” using multiple approaches to achieve results throughout the process of finding a job. As an example, to find jobs to apply to within the U.S. one might:
- identify companies of interest and go on their websites looking at jobs posted on the career or employment pages;
- develop connections with alumni who work at companies of interest, learning about the workplace, and perhaps eventually seeking a referral;
- look for openings on job boards and other job posting sites;
- find and reach out to recruiters at companies of interest;
- talk with mentors and advisors to learn which employers have commonly hired students from the specific major or field of study;
- and attend job fairs.
In contrast to the many best ways to job search in the U.S., I recall a conversation with an international student who kept asking, as I was sharing the various approaches, “But what’s the best way?” The student went on to share that they would never have to do any of this to get a job in their native country. They said, “I would just provide a list of my background to the person hiring and they would let me know if they wanted to talk to me. When they saw my education they would probably know they would want to hire me.” Providing the list of their background was the single best way to get a job in their country and the idea of applying many best ways to their job search in the U.S. felt inefficient, overly complex, and outright time-consuming. I valued this conversation because I realized that I also would benefit from focusing some of my professional development toward a greater understanding of the ways that job search differs from country to country, and within regions of the same country.
So how does this relate to the podcast I reference in the title of this post?
The reason I mention the podcast “How I Work,” is that it provides listeners with insights about the many best ways that leading innovators, from around the world, structure their days and work toward goals and successes. Some episodes are about career successes while other episodes provide practical tips and evidence-based approaches for achieving various day-to-day goals. In listening to the accounts of those being interviewed, it is interesting and inspiring to hear the many best ways that the individuals have implemented to reach their career and life goals. Subscribe and listen here: https://www.amanthaimber.com/podcast/ and also available on Apple Podcasts.