How to Get Out of Your Way in the Job Search

4 steps to learn, understand, and seek feedback as a job seeker

Looking for a leg up in the job search?  Snag our free job seeker toolkit complete with resume and cover letter tool kits here. 

Job Seeker Advice From Friends

With nearly 75% of job seekers actively looking for work according to a 2012 Jobvite Study, it’s likely that you, yourself are in the job search.  Your friends and professional contacts likely have answers, insights, and opinions that can help.  And you have the ability  and desire to ask them. Information exchanges, with people you value the opinion of, have to happen. You want to demystify the recruiting and hiring secrets to getting a job.  You gotta ask. You really just have to know.  In fact your life may depend on it.  You are not bothering people when you ask them, “Hey, what do you think about (insert job search related topic)?” – “Would you mind taking a look at my resume/LinkedIn profile/whatever?’ ASK.

When it comes to asking for advice and tips related to the job search, it takes just four steps.  Four steps to learn, understand, and seek feedback helping you gain insights, promote within your organization, or obtain a job.

1)  Just Ask.  People want to give their opinion. They want to talk. They LOVE it. They do – especially when they perceive you need the help and value their take. And you do need the help. When you ask their opinion, you are saying I respect what you have to say.

I saw a graphic once where the words “THEIR STUFF” appeared in big, bold letters and the words “your stuff” were illustrated quite small. Now, envision the graphic and replace the word “stuff” with “opinion.” You get the picture. It is not that your opinion doesn’t matter, it’s that it doesn’t matter in this setting. IT DOESN’T. Even if they ask you what you think of what they thought. You know what you think of what they thought, right? You thought their feedback was great and your face is beaming with the enlightenment you just experienced. Reflect the radiance of their opinion at this moment and maybe even until you return to your car. You may be cringing. It’s ok.

2) Accept Opinion Without Question. When you ask for someone’s opinion – just accept it. No conditions. Judgement free. What? Let me share what conditions look like – “yeah..but…” or “I understand, although” and “sure, I guess…” and my favorite “I already knew that so…I was hoping…” Jobseeker, here is what you do with their opinion – process it, soak it up and do not utter conditions. Conditions turn the respectful asker into this guy. Conditions turn the person between jobs into “Now, I see why they don’t have a job yet” guy.

3) Learn, Absorb and Walk Away.  There is no harm in asking – oh, but there is.. if you go conditional. Ask and you shall receive – followed by step 3 – don’t flinch and Step 4 – walk away. You can roll your eyes later. You can call them a douche in the privacy of your own job search. You can never ask them for anything again but for now they are your guide and you are following.

4) Walk Away.  But only after you show them some appreciation for dispelling you free advice  and THEIR point of view.  THEIR point of view that hopefully will help YOU in whatever it is you choose to do.  Say thank you.

Job Search Tips & Getting Out of Your Own Way

BOTTOM LINE – Most job seekers I encounter need to get out of their own way. They need to drop their conditions, absorb the job search tips and advice, and walk away. Consider how to meld this four step concept into your process, and it might just unconditionally revolutionize your search.

Looking for a leg up in the job search?  Snag our free job seeker toolkit complete with resume and cover letter tool kits here.

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Andy Gregory

Andy Gregory is the Owner and Principle Recruiter at CGP Network. He's passionate about educating job seekers about the hiring and recruitment process. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn.

Reader Interactions


  1. Ray_anne says

    Excellent post, Andy and a really great reflection. Job seekers need to look in the mirror and see themselves in this post.




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