According to a list I cribbed from a blog post to the SFGate on February 9 about how to triple your chances of being hired,  employers most value the following traits:
  • honesty,
  • trustworthiness,
  • commitment,
  • adaptability,
  • accountability, and
  • flexibility.

First of all, the math escapes me. There are six traits listed, not three. Besides that, who trusts anyone who talks about how honest they are? It seems to me that any description of a job candidate with those words would be far more credible coming from a reference, rather than the candidate. I have all those traits (trust me!) and I am still looking, possibly because I haven’t mentioned them in any cover letter I’ve sent.

Ironically, in my own case, those traits are pretty much demanded in my chosen field (investigation,) so I suppose I can easily tweak my language to better reflect them in the future. In the meantime, the pretty bubble I inflated last week by finding and applying for 3 interesting positions was deflated somewhat by my husband’s well-intentioned assertion that according to what he heard on the radio (NPR, so you know it’s true) you should never apply for a job until you have networked with the employer.

I have long been aware of the reported value of networking, and have long avoided it. I don’t understand my aversion; I have spent my working life making cold calls, face to face and on the phone. It seems a small step farther to do it on my own behalf, rather than for a client. At the risk of climbing back on that darn couch, I have to suspect that I suspect that I don’t deserve the effort. I must say that my feeble attempts at “networking” in my own very specific field were met with resounding indifference from my professional peers, and I was surprised and unsettled by that- I mean, I was volunteering, for crying out loud.

Well, boo-freakin’-hoo, as they say. Maybe I was doing it wrong. It’s time to try again. So I will, turning again to my two friends, the library and the internet. I will commit to making some effort to connect with someone in my field every week. I will make the same effort with someone outside my field, in a related area of interest. I will document those efforts here. I will also be reviewing current writing on the job search process, and commenting on whether I find any of it helpful. And I will clear the final hurdle of completing my Linkedin profile.

Finally, I will re-commit to this blog. For a minute, I thought I had run out of things to say, but I am happy to report that simply completing this post has recharged me in some way.

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