Staying Alive in the Job Search

Staying Alive in the Job Search

John Travolta’s character, Tony Manero, in Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive exuded perseverance and tenacity in the pursuit of a dancers seat.  He proved that if an individual aligns their personal talent with their natural personality that the impossible becomes possible.  In Staying Alive, audience members watched Tony transform into a successful broadway dancer.  The journey to obtaining a dancers seat included the following:

  1. Tony being pushed around by the dancing industry.
  2. Tony’s pride being smacked down affording time for internal reflection for character building.
  3. The tenacity to push limits with practicing the lead dancers’ choreography that showed Tony stepping up and the lead dancer stepping down.
  4. The humbling of himself to align all his personal talent with his natural personality and developing strong characteristics that helped him achieve his seat as a dancer.

We can learn so much from Tony in this new job market.  Every industry has its own personality, its own characteristics, and its own skill sets that are required of an individual in order to achieve a seat in the company.   Tony was audacious with a tiger’s tenacity, and, with the assistance of his circle of influence, became a man of integrity, honesty, and kindness “in progress” that created a powerful presence as a dancer on stage.  Tony did not ask the industry to change for him; instead, he transformed himself into the best “Tony” that aligned his natural self with the industry.

This job market requires a targeted job search approach to receive a call from the recruiter.  As a candidate, you must know the exact seat desired within the organization.  This market is not rearranging seats; instead it is placing the EXACT match in the EXACT seat.

Just as Tony approached the dance industry, you must approach the job market the same way: make certain you know who you are, what you want, and how you will obtain a seat.


Tony figured out the answer to this burdensome question by having the tough talks with the people who cared about him the most, pushing himself really hard to obtain his seat in the dancing industry and building strong characteristics that complimented his natural talent and personality.  Do you want to obtain a “fill in the blank” seat within a selected industry?  Take a Tony walk.


Spend some time on this website:



Once you have a strong understanding of your skillsets, personality and characteristics, along with the exact job title, take the following walk within the job market.


Be an active member-participant within the community at local organizations associated with the targeted company.  Seek out individuals associated with the targeted company and request to take them to lunch, call them to discuss their career with the industry, or any other creative avenues of aligning yourself with members working at the targeted company.

Company HR Department

Once you have a list of companies you wish to target, contact the human resource department.  Prepare a very specific speech to present over the phone to one of these individuals.  Speaking as a corporate recruiter, you pitch an exact request, the recruiter will do everything in his/her power to keep your name and resume on the list of open or future positions.


These are like gold in this job market and should be treated as such.  If you have a connection within the targeted company, ask if you can take the individual to lunch, his/her place of choice.  You want to build a strong relationship with this individual, as they have a key to the door you want to open.

Job Boards

Find the jobs listed with the desired job title, print the job posting, adjust your resume to include whatever skills are required, and re-write your cover lever that includes specific examples of the required skills and how you have used these skills in current/past jobs.  Every job you apply to should have a cover letter/resume that was written specifically for that job.

Non-Posted Positions

For whatever reason, there are companies that do not post positions.  These jobs are available with open seats to be filled.  By taking a targeted approach, being proactive, doing all of the above, you might just locate one of these open seats.


Locate the recruiter that is responsible for placing individuals at the targeted company.  Reach out to them and request a ten minute meeting to discuss your desire to work at XYZ company.  The more specific your requests, the more likely the recruiter will take the time to speak with you.  Remember, a targeted approach will be more successful than a lackadaisical approach.


Songs are very powerful in keeping us motivated to push forward in life.  If you are in the job market and having a tough time landing a position, find a song that will keep you moving.  Tony listened to several songs that moved him forward during the pursuit of the dancers’ seat.  Find your song.  When you become frustrated, push play and crank it up!!!  Tony proved to us that Staying Alive through tenacity, hard work, and never giving up will bring us to the point of obtaining a seat.  Envision The Strut.

“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”

“Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

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Monica Miller

Monica Miller, CIR-PRC has worked in the healthcare industry for 12 years and transitioned from a C-Suite Executive Assistant into a Corporate Recruiter after completing a psychology degree. Her recruiting experience includes working with small and large businesses focused on behavioral and performance based interviewing. In her spare time, she offers pro bono career advice/resume writing to job seekers, connecting candidates with hiring managers via social media. Connect with Monica.


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