Friday, November 9, 2012

Tales From A Toronto Job Seeker - Part 2

It's been a couple of months since I last blogged about my job hunt, so here we go.

In the last week alone, I have twice been told it's down to me and another candidate ... and the other person got it. So of course I vented my frustration on Facebook, until a trusted friend with more wisdom than me (thanks Patrick!) mentioned that many people aren't even getting to the job interview stage.

He's right. Point taken. In this competitive environment it's much appreciated to get face time with a hiring manager for an hour and put your best foot forward in convincing them you're the best fit for that particular role.

"So, John," you're asking (probably not but it reads better), "It's been four months and nothing yet. What gives?"

Well, quite simply, I have been very careful in choosing what jobs I apply for. I have been taking the sniper rather than the shotgun scatter approach and being selective. Roles that interest me, are a good fit with my skills and experience and have room for growth and development are the ones I have been applying for.

Those roles are like buses. Nothing for a few weeks and then four come along at once. (That's not to say I haven't been "cold calling" and networking on LinkedIn too.)

Most job ads list the role, the experience required and the responsibilities. I'm going to flip that now.

Here's what I can offer and the kind of organization that I'd like to work for.

Work/Life Experience
Newspaper delivery round at 9. Worked in a grocery store after school from 13-15. Cleaned the coffee machine and delivered packages across London for a stockbroking company in 1986 dressed like Rick Astley (cool at the time). Took night school after work for my dealing exam. Failed it the first time. Retook it and passed. On the dealing desk at 19. Not for me so quit and went travelling for a few years, including two years in Israel on a kibbutz ( working for food and lodging. (Book published about it in 1999.) First journalism job in 1995 (small business magazine). First editing job in 1998 (security magazine). [Hello Canada in 2000!] Created and developed six websites. Second editing job in 2005 (technology newspaper, nominated for science and technology reporting award). Managing Editor of major single-word domain website in 2005 (, loads of fun, especially creating a podcast on a shoestring budget that made the Top 10 of North American Comedy downloads on iTunes). Joined a private school as Acting Communications Manager in 2007 (won two awards). Third editing job for alumni magazine. PR agency work in 2008. Joined my second private school in 2009. Also co-founded my own green, non profit called Greenscroll ( Loads of freelancing, social/digital media work/consulting in the gaps from around 2006 onwards ( Full story here, plus testimonials, plus mugshot

Working for an organization that gets all of the above.