Call me crazy, but I happen to enjoy the absurd. Nothing peaks my interest more than strange events that play out in real life. There is something very exciting about the unthinkable, mixed with utter disbelief and a large dose of ridiculousness that really gets the juices flowing. Recently, I’ve been walking with a spring in my step and a grin on my face, not because of the summer sunshine, but as a result of political bliss unfolding before my very eyes.
No country, or political party, holds exclusive rights when it comes to the absurd. I could easily be referring to political events in this country (the Duffy trial certainly has brought cache to our election process – don’t you think?) For me, it’s the U.S. Republican leadership race that has met and grossly exceeded my expectations when it comes to the nonsensical.
Seventeen candidates are vying for the top Republican job, but nobody is garnishing attention like the show-stopping candidate Donald Trump. He has called political leaders stupid, insulted military veterans, and made distasteful remarks against women. Yet he is appealing to a frustrated and angered electorate that is craving authenticity. Trump is surging in the polls.
For job seekers, we can learn a lot from Donald Trump and the Republican leadership race. Yes, even politicians can teach us lessons (even if much of it is what not to do).
Here are five things to keep in mind in your job search as we see this U.S. political contest play out:<
Be Authentic – People are looking for authenticity in others. One of the reasons Donald Trump is surging in the polls is that he is connecting with a segment of the population that is tired of political speak. It’s not just apathy towards politicians, according to many, but flat out anger. The same could be said for many Canadians in regards to their political leaders. There is a yearning in our society for trust and authenticity. Always be straight-forward and honest with everyone you encounter in your job search.
Perception is Reality – People’s perceptions are what they will think of you, whether true or not. Republican leadership candidates are all desperately trying to connect with voters. In politics and in life, how you convey a message is many times more important than the message itself. Think about the image you want to create for others. Always be positive and dress the part. Be sure to remove any content on social media that puts you in an unfavourable light.
Choose Your Words Carefully – This apparently applies to everyone, except the Donald. The more outlandish and preposterous his comments, the more his poll numbers surge. While people may be tired of political correctness, it is best to be smart and think before you speak. Companies want employees who can speak openly, are solution oriented and can back up any statements with facts and figures. Politicians take note!
Have a Sales Pitch – Whether on Twitter, Facebook or in the media, our world is full of one-liners and short sound bites. If we learned anything from the recent Republican leadership debate it is that getting an effective message out in 30 seconds or less is crucial. In your job search, the same holds true. Take the time to prepare a two or three sentence sales pitch that you can use when conversing with others. Answer these two questions – What job are you looking for? Why should someone hire you? Being able to express yourself in a concise and effective manner can be the key to success.
Create Your Own Brand – Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a brand on to himself. From his books to his reality show, he gets noticed. How are you going to get noticed in the job search? How can you separate yourself from other job seekers? Create a brand that speaks to who you are and what you want to achieve. Make sure there is consistency in your message across all your social media platforms. For the Donald – it truly is all in the hair.
All of us have at times have scratched our heads in disbelief as we look at the world around us. Sometimes things happen contrary to all reason or common sense – even in the job search. Learn from others and realize that sometimes you just have to go against the grain. For me, political bliss will undoubtedly continue for some time to come. I’m confident here and south of the border our politicians won’t disappoint – absurdity will rule the day!