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Your Personal Jobseeker's Guide

Hi there,
  I gather you are looking for a job, or are thinking you may need to soon. What are you - between jobs, thinking about making a change, getting back into the workforce, or leaving school and just starting out? You’ve probably had some helpful advice passed your way by government and private employment agencies. Maybe you’ve followed it and still haven’t managed to get work. There’s nothing wrong with the advice – it’s just that every other jobseeker is using it. What you need is something in addition that will set you apart from them – your own 'X' factor. This guide will focus on you personally, on how you approach it all, from deciding what you would really like to do if you had the choice, to making the best impression at the final interview, then keeping the job when you get it. Forget about "if" - that’s for losers. Just think "when". Right from the very beginning, start believing in yourself and you will make it happen.

The Ideal Job
  President, rocket scientist, formula-one champion, another Bill Gates, or a Hollywood actor… don’t dismiss a single one! If you dream of being any of these, or something else out of the ordinary, hold onto the thought and the feeling. It’s exactly what you will need to get you that first, very important job. If you don’t believe it can take you to the top, check out the history of your role models, see where they came from. I’d be willing to bet not too many jumped straight into the envious spot they find themselves in now. Why should you be any different?
  It isn’t even necessary to start at the bottom of the particular industry you eventually want to graduate in. If waiting table or cleaning toilets would see you getting an Oscar in a few years, wouldn’t you be happy to do it? Okay, so you aren’t that ambitious. Maybe you’re just looking for an income which will get you off welfare, or something to tide you over while you decide what you really want to do. There’s no secret to getting any job, whether dreamworthy or dull by comparison. You just have to want it - seriously, passionately, desperately enough to go those extra yards to get it. And you have to know in your own mind that it will launch you on your way towards your ultimate goal.

What Working Means
  You are probably already doing it – keeping the home tidy and the kids in check, fixing your car when it needs it, helping out friends and relations with those jobs that can’t be done by one. In truth, your day is very full and you might think that working for a living is pretty much the same with the added bonus of a wage at the end of the week. Bear in mind, however, that you are most likely the one who decides your current schedule. When you accept a position working for someone else, all of that changes.
  Your new boss expects you to be punctual and consistent. No longer can you have a late night and sleep in the next day. You may have to get up earlier than usual in order to organise your partner and the kids before you leave for work. There’s travelling time to consider which will make your day away from home longer than the hours you will be paid for. And what will you do in the case of an emergency? Can you expect your employer to be understanding if you have to take time off, or are frequently late because your car keeps breaking down? When you get that job it will alter your life considerably and you’ll have to make adjustments. It will become a priority. But it will be worth it because you’ll be much better off, financially and otherwise.

  Thinking about the disruption to your normal routine can affect your mood. You might be feeling a bit glum, maybe are blaming circumstances for bringing you to this point. Believe me, that’s good! Not that you feel this way, but that you recognise the fact. What you need to do now is change that attitude to a positive one before it gets worse, especially now at the very beginning. Accept that this major step will bring improvements which far outweigh the inconveniences.
  Attitude shapes the way you approach situations, so being optimistic when looking through the employment prospects makes it seem less of a chore. Add light-hearted to this and you’ll find yourself amused by some of the jobs for which you are entirely unsuited and would probably make a total hash of. Enjoy the search for the job that is for you, and carry this same cheerful attitude with you as you make the first application. Enthusiasm will show in the words you write, the same way people you meet see it on your face, in your body language and how you are with them. Not only do you have to make a good impression, but you need to be happy in the knowledge that you are doing the best for yourself. Adopt a good attitude and it will serve you well.

  The majority are the same as you. The difference is that they started at the bottom some time ago and are now in a position to give you the same chance. Just for a moment, imagine the roles are reversed and you are the boss. What kind of a person are you looking for? Will their appearance matter, or are you more interested in qualifications and prior experience? Maybe attention to detail is important, honesty and trustworthiness too. The job might be repetitious, physically demanding, or require special attributes such as good people skills and a cheerful, friendly nature. What would you look for, and how do you think you might determine whether one applicant was more suitable than another? These are the things your prospective employer is hoping to find in you. If you can figure out what they are, you can make sure the new boss knows you have them.

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