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How Stalking a Job Can Stall Your Next Career

By Cathy Goodwin
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2004

Q. Two months ago, MegaCorp posted a job that matches my qualifications perfectly. I sent a resume to the HR manager. He's been friendly and helpful. But, he says, the department has delayed scheduling interviews. I've called HR back twice. Anything else I can do?

A. Stalking a job can mean stalling your next career. Better to stop pounding on closed doors and let your next career find you.

1. You may believe you're perfect for the job. And indeed you may be perfect. But remember that a car salesman may honestly believe that a used Cadillac is the car is perfect for you. You, the buyer, may not agree.

When you're job-hunting, you're selling services and employers are buying. Buyers don't have to be rational. They have hidden agendas and they work on their own time frames.

2. Network creatively. Use trade organizations, friends-of-friends and any contact you can generate. Your goal: Create opportunities to meet other managers in this organization and also develop new options.

You can even try cold-calling, but if you're at a senior level you'll probably have a harder time making a case to "interview for information."

3. Investigate multiple options, not just one. Keep several balls in the air. As you send out one batch of resumes, schedule a couple of networking meetings. Before heading out to an interview, schedule a call to learn about starting your own business.

When people depend on a single lead ("this HAS to work out!"), they end up depending on Murphy's Law. Jobs get cancelled. Managers head for the Bahamas. And they often find they're too nervous to perform well during interviews. By creating multiple options, you increase the odds that your next career will find you, not the other way around.

I believe in doing one's best and perhaps following up once. Okay, maybe twice, if you're dealing directly with the hiring manager.

But after that, move on. Take charge on your job hunt and focus on attracting your next career - not attacking each prospective employer.

About the Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant. She works with midlife career changers who want to "stop pounding on closed doors and let your next career find you."
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change"
Contact: 505-534-4294


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