First, why would a person in their right mind apply for a job where 500 applications have already been submitted for the same job? If you go to drop a CV and find 500 before you have already applied, don’t leave your application there. Stop dreaming and get serious about your career.
Always be the old man out. That should be your focus.
Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t go for the road most travelled. Look for the road less travelled. Even for the road most travelled, make sure you take a different path. Take a case of a typical African President. Because of too much traffic jam, even when they use the road most travelled, they don’t get stuck in the jam. They create their own way. A lead car will push ‘other cars off the road and create the way for the President.” If you have been to Kampala Uganda. The main road from Entebbe Airport is so busy that it takes four full hours of drive to cover 40 kilometres at peak hours. However, when the president or another top honcho visits, they spend just 30 minutes. They create their own way. They do not get affected by the traffic jam caused by the crowd.
That is the kind of strategy you must have when it comes to looking for and seizing opportunities. Don’t follow the crowd.
If you are going to be in the road most travelled with everybody, there is going to be a problem. It will take you too much time, if at all you arrive safely. No wonder there are people who are still looking for jobs eight years after graduation from University. The fact is, the road most travelled is jammed and very slow. Yet you don’t have all that time here on earth to wait in the queue.
All my life, I have gotten the jobs I need because I chose to take a different path. I will try to find out the person who makes decisions and write to him directly. I request to meet them or find them at another venue say a party.
It is a fact that every company has pains at any time. They need someone to fix them. The leaders are always asking friends for recommendations of the best person to help fix their problems. Your focus should not be going to the company. It should be finding someone in the circles of the companies you would like to work to fix for you an appointment and a note.
Many leaders who need talent don’t know where to find it.
For example, one of the most puzzling issue is how do companies appoint board member? I have got some CEOs ask me: how did they find you to appoint you on their board? The answer is simple: they are not networking. They are not on people’s Rader.
If you choose to follow the crowd, nobody will notice you. This is why when I see a request for proposal, I take time to know the real buyer. I will try send an email, make a phone call, ask to know the real buyer so as to show that I stand out. While others just sent in proposals without taking time to understand the exact needs of the client, I will send an email and make a phone call.
If you want to stand out from the 500 people, don’t apply for the job. Wait when interviews are done, go with a business case to the person who placed the advert. Show them other things you can do beyond the responsibilities in the advert. They will always give you an opportunity. Good people are always have a reserved sit in any organisation!
Every company has a vacant position waiting to be filled. If you want to get a job say at MTN, try to read any article where the CEO has appeared. Somewhere, you You need to keep your ears on the ground to know who is who, where they go for leisure and who are their friends. You then need to be a friend of their receptionist and personal assistant. These are the relationships that give you internal information of where the pains are, who is the real decision maker and the time they come to work. For example, the driver of the CEO will always have information about the pains of the CEO and the ideal staff they are looking for. He is always going to be complaining. It’s human condition to ‘put off things on your chest.’
So, if he is complaining about certain things it is the opportunity for you to apply for that job. When you don’t follow the crowd, you get through the red carpet than other people who go through the normal door.
Wish you success.