Not hearing back is one of the most painful aspects of a professional job search, but “very much a reality during the crazy times pandemic of 2020.”
That is the view of job hunting and career guide author Brenda Abdilla, who has come out with a new book Outsmarting Crazytown: A Business Novel About How Derailed Professionals Can Get Back On Track (2020, Indie Books International).
Abdilla chose a crazy time to launch a book about the crazy world of corporate careers. Told in novel form, her book is about Mike, a great guy who has a wife and young family in Spokane. He is the senior manager of IT for a small software company that has recently been purchased, and as a result, Mike’s life is about to change dramatically. Some alarming stuff happens at work that throws Mike into a bit of tailspin. All this change happens at a time when Mike is already questioning his choices and his future.
She based the novel on first-hand experience with seasoned executives who got derailed. Abdilla is the founder of Management Momentum LLC and a PCC level Professional Certified Coach, a distinction shared by less than 35% of all coaches worldwide. For over 13 years, Abdilla traveled the world as a professional speaker, business consultant and executive recruiter, working with thousands top level professionals in the areas of sales, management and leadership.
Abdilla has advice for those job hunting during the pandemic. According to Abdilla, here are three job search realities that cannot be ignored:
99% of the time, companies will not get back to you. “Here you are, a professional who has earned respect in your field with an impressive track record, humbling yourself by applying to job after job. Yet, you hear nothing back from companies where you have applied—even some that have interviewed you. This reality is not about to change. ‘No response’ has become the norm—pretty much since the 2008 economic crash when companies were flooded with hundreds of applicants for every role. Expect to hear nothing, until you do—and then you can be delighted.”
Changing career lanes is extremely difficult. “So, you are burned-out on your industry and ready to try something different? Switching industries or even specialties (like from sales to ops) is challenging for a seasoned professional. Why? Because the very experience that got you where you are today is what will keep employers from making the leap to the idea you have in mind. The market is obsessed with experience—right or wrong. It is better to do some serious research and discover roles where your experience and job fit are obvious to the hiring managers and recruiters, or you won’t get calls.”
It’s not your age—it’s something else. “At some point, every job seeker over the age of 35 will wonder if they are not getting calls because they are just too old. Unless you are applying to roles that obviously attract applicants in their twenties, such as social media or SEO, then chances are there is something other than your age foiling your efforts. The first place to look is your resume to see how well targeted it is for your ideal role. Next is career baggage—not only will your anger from the past impact your motivation to do a full job search, but that cloud will come with you on your interviews. Applicants well into their fifties can get plenty of action if they have a clearly written and well-targeted resume, razor sharp interview skills and an eagerness that shines through every aspect of the job search process. Easier said than done during the humble act of finding a new role, but worth the work.”
Since founding Management Momentum in 2004, Abdilla has developed a wide portfolio of options for clients who want to navigate career-changes and job promotions, increase productivity, improve leadership skills and remove obstacles in the way of moving forward. Through coaching, workshops, programs and assessments, she helps clients reach their desired outcomes sooner rather than later.