Deep sea fishing from a boat in the Gulf of Mexico

Image via Wikipedia

Over the past few weeks, I have had the realisation that there are many similarities between searching for a job and fishing and have used these principles with clients when discussing their career options.

I’m not much of a fisherman, but my understanding is that there are a few key things to keep in mind when trying to catch fish:

  • Using a boat is generally more effective than fishing off a pier
  • You need to have the right bait and equipment
  • You need to be patient
  • You won’t catch a fish with every cast
  • After you get a bite, you still need to land it
  • Sometimes you’ll catch a particular breed of fish when you were trying for something else
  • Local knowledge can make a big difference
  • Sometimes you can do everything right and still not catch anything
  • Sometimes you can do everything wrong and still catch something
  • If you don’t cast a line, fish won’t just jump into your boat

So, how is this like looking for a job?

When job-hunting, you need to be aware of the following:

  • Having a great resume and application letter is better than a mediocre one
  • You won’t get every job that you apply for
  • You need to be patient
  • If you want a particular job in a particular industry, you need to use the right tools to get there
  • Sometimes when you’re looking for a job, an unexpected opportunity will come up
  • Getting an interview isn’t enough, you still need to land the job
  • Knowing people who work in the industry or for the company that you are trying to enter can make a huge difference to your strategy
  • Sometimes you can do everything right, but there’s someone else who’s a better fit for the role
  • Sometimes you can do everything wrong, but you’re the best person for the job
  • If you don’t apply for anything, you won’t get anything

Just like in fishing, there are no guarantees when looking for a job.  However, there are a lot of things that you can do to increase your chances of success.

Do you have any fishing/job-hunting tips to share?

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