Seeking Guidance from a Trusted Advisor: Advice for Job Hunting During COVID-19

Seek guidance: You are not going to change all the beliefs you developed in your working life overnight – you will need help, so seek advice from someone who has seen this before and ask them what it’s going to be like. Regardless of the political spin being put on the unemployment rate, wage subsidies are…

Seeking Guidance from a Trusted Advisor: Advice for Job Hunting During COVID-19

Seek guidance: You are not going to change all the beliefs you developed in your working life overnight – you will need help, so seek advice from someone who has seen this before and ask them what it’s going to be like.

Regardless of the political spin being put on the unemployment rate, wage subsidies are masking the real issue, and when these subsidies are withdrawn. unemployment in both AUS and NZ will be well over 10%. The last time these economies saw this level of unemployment was in the early 1990s; if you entered the workforce then at age 18, you are now 46 years old, so anyone younger than 46 years of age has not experienced what it is like to find work when unemployment is over 10%. 

As we discussed in the last article, we all understand this theoretically we all understand this, but emotionally, bringing ourselves to accept that we cannot get the job we are qualified for is something that takes time, and when it comes to being unemployed, time is not our friend. So, anything we can do to help with not just accepting the situation but getting on and doing something about it invaluable.

This is why seeking advice is so important. When we say seeking advice, by far the best thing to do is to find someone you know and trust who can help you accept and navigate your way through the unemployment challenges you may face in 2021, or when wages subsidies are withdrawn.

Whether you want to call this person an advisor, a counsellor, a mentor or friend, it does not matter. Whether you talk over the phone, over coffee or a beer, it does not matter. What matters is that they emotionally “get” you and the issue of unemployment, that you trust them and that you can communicate with each other. 

How to Find the Right Advisor

So, who is this person?

They will need to have “raised the bat,” and be at least 50 years old. You can pay them, however, I don’t think you need to – there are plenty of people on the “right” side of 50 who will be only too willing to help and for coffee and cake, or beer and chips, will share with you what you need to learn.

When choosing your advisor, you will want to look for:

  1. Someone who has been there. They will need to know what it’s like to not have a job. How did they feel? How did they eat and pay rent? What did they do?
  2. Someone who knows you and talks straight, knows where your strengths lie, what your weaknesses are and whether these weaknesses need working on (they usually don’t), and most importantly, how you show off your strengths. Remember, employers are more interested in what you can do, not what you can’t do!
  3. Someone who stimulates you to grow and encourages you to learn by posing questions you cannot answer.
  4. Someone who sets you goals and targets and watches how you go about achieving them, allowing you to make mistakes and correcting as you go.
  5. Someone who encourages you. You are going to get knocked down into the dirt many times, so you will need someone who dusts you off, cleans up your face and restores your smile.
  6. Someone who will kick your arse. Get used to having a bruised bum – not so you cannot sit down at all, but just so it hurts a bit to do so – because sitting down is not an option.
  7. Someone who has had their arse kicked. If your advisor has raised the bat and is 50 plus, there is a very high chance they have had their butt kicked at some stage. Life has a habit of doing that, and they need to understand and empathise with you so they can connect emotionally – mutually bruised bums is one way of connecting.
  8. Someone who listens and respects your thoughts and opinions. They may not always agree, but they hear you.
  9. Someone who knows people, who can connect you will with others. In previous articles, we have spent a great deal of time talking about how “getting a job is a job ” and having connections will greatly increase your chances of securing work.
  10. Someone you trust, meaning it will probably be someone you know well and have known for a while, who you are comfortable sharing your feelings with.
  11. Someone who you respect. There’s no point in doing this if you don’t respect the opinion of your advisor

In summary, what you are looking for is someone in the prime of their life (on the high side of 50 years of age) who has been there, likes a drink, knows stuff, talks straight, will dust you off, sets goals, kicks arse (has had their own arse kicked), listens and that you trust and respect. Don’t go thinking you need someone like Richard Branson or Tony Robbins, and it’s unlikely this person will be Mum or Dad – you are probably looking for an Uncle, Aunt, family friend, old boss or manager. 

Finally, remember: people like helping people. Asking someone for their help can be a great complement to that person, so don’t be shy – and good luck!

If you need more advice on job hunting in the current market, feel free to get in touch with us today.

 

Pete Davis is Managing Director of Frontline Recruitment Group (FRG). FRG is a specialist recruitment company with offices across Australia and New Zealand – they have been operating since the early 1990s and have worked in high unemployment environments with job hunters in many different industries. This blog series is about sharing some of the lessons from the past and integrating them with the technology and business practices of today. We hope you enjoy these articles and welcome your opinions.