According to the Labor Department’s most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), roughly 4 million Americans are quitting their jobs each month. That kind of a quit rate is what’s known at this time as “The Great Resignation.”

There are all sorts of reasons for the great resignation and many articles and studies go deep on the causes. However, if you are a job seeker at present or a soon-to-be one,  I want you to consider your approach to the task. Most of us assume that conducting a job campaign (defined as that effort to land new work) isn’t rocket science, but also underestimate how difficult it can be. Many choose to conduct their campaigns by worshiping at the altars of job boards. The job seeker (could this be you?) is praying for the just-right job to be posted by the just-right company and that they end up being the just-right hire for the role.

With approximately 4 million Americans quitting their jobs right now, and fewer jobs being added, plus the 6 million more Americans who want jobs but aren’t actively looking –  if all those people are worshiping at the job board altar, what does that mean for you as you ‘compete’ to elbow your way to the top? It means you hear crickets in your job search. It means you have to be a flawless match with the ATS (Applicant tracking system with incredibly tight algorithms to match -which for some is impossibly difficult especially if it rules out those who’ve been looking for more than six months in this can you say DUH? still pandemically fueled job market.)

Allow me to share an example, claims they draw 250 million unique monthly visitors to their site. They used to claim that they captured 80% or more of all online job seekers. With the huge numbers of people looking for work and job seekers who may be only using the pray and wait for the perfect post on a job board as their #1 strategy to finding a job, well you do the math. Employers are reporting huge numbers of people who apply to single openings and we both know that only a few people will ultimately get interviews.

To truly succeed in your job search endeavors, you have to do something different than all those who are flocking to job boards. You need to find an internal champion at the company where you want to work…… You have to stand out. You have to create an edge to get ‘seen’. Most who are looking for a job aren’t going to go the extra mile and take the intialtive to connect with people who work at a company you are targeting. Most will passively wait for a call to move forward. I suggest that you have to make your own rain. You have to be more assertive and proactive than other candidates. And, yes th is can make HR crazy, but you need to get over the wall and finding someone who will give you a leg up is the best way. If you have been networking throughout your career you might already know someone at a company you are targeting. 

Let me share a quick story. I talented finance professional recently made a fairly quick shift into a new role. She had been with her previous employer for a long time and was in a role where there was no where else to be promoted. She wasn’t actively looking for work, but took an opportunistic approach to networking. A couple of years ago at an industry forum she met someone who perfoms the same job but in a larger organization. This year that networking connection reached out and shared that she was retiring. She asked permission to share my finance professional’s name and the next thing you know the moving van is being loaded and their family was off to a greener pasture. Did she have to interview and be vetted yes of course, but the recommendation from the retiring incumbent made a huge difference.

So, what can you do to make a difference? Identify how to stand out. Ask for help if you are drawing a blank. This is the perfect time to tap into the expertise of a career coach or strategist. What do you have to lose? Don’t wait another minute stuck or wondering about your strategy. 

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – get hired sooner. Stay courageous.

As always, I wish you health and a clear path to offer your professional creativity within a job that’s truly right for you.

Success – at work, at play, every day!