The Job Search Games: How Being Competitive Can Help
In case you haven’t heard, “The Hunger Games” is a popular book series turned movie series. (The “Catching Fire” movie is schedule for release Fall 2013.) “The Hunger Games” is the story of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage provider in District 12 of a dystopian future governed by its capital, Panem.
As retribution for a past rebellion, each year Panem randomly selects one male and female from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised death match. Katniss volunteers for the games when her younger sister’s name is selected in the lottery. “The Hunger Games” chronicles Katniss’ struggle to stay alive through fierce competition and unforgiving elements.
Although searching for a job isn’t as perilous as a broadcasted fight to the death, it can certainly feel that way. After all, securing a job is essentially securing our livelihood. There are lessons job seekers can learn from “The Hunger Games;” above all is the idea that to stay alive (or employed), you need to get competitive.
Become a competitive job seeker now with the following tips:
Social media exploded onto the job scene fewer than 10 years ago, but it has already impacted nearly every industry, expanding job descriptions to include social aspects.
While it may seem confusing and downright overwhelming to master all the latest social media platforms, think of this: Generation Yers just a few years older than “The Hunger Games’” Katniss are now entering the workforce. This is a group of young professionals that has never been without a computer skills class at school and cell phones in their pockets. They know how to best use social media platforms to the advantage of a company.
Make a goal to explore one new social media platform in your spare time every week. The extra time spent outside of work or a job search will increase your employee value.
Go Back To School
A recently released McKinsey Global Institute report revealed that employers will no longer require 90 to 95 million low-skill workers (2.6 percent of the global workforce) by 2020. Instead, they will need nearly 45 million more workers with secondary or vocational training and 38 to 40 million more high-skill workers with a college education.
Employers are insisting their employees bring more to the table. If you can’t dedicate the time for a new degree, contemplate taking skills classes that will increase your performance.
Monopolize Time At Networking Events
I see it all the time at networking events—one lonely job seeker stands in the corner awkwardly waiting for a successful professional to approach him. Networking events are not your cousin’s party; there is no host or hostess to hold your hand and introduce you to all the wonderful people. You need to do this yourself.
When you attend a networking event, believe yourself to be one of the most interesting people in the room. Be aggressive and approach the people you want to speak with. Competitive behavior conveys a desire to achieve. Employers want people with desire on their staff.
Remember, we live in a competitive job market, so get competitive. And when you’re competing for jobs, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
What do you think? Can being competitive give you an advantage in the job search? When was a time your competiveness lead to success?