resume dragonI teach people how to look for jobs and other opportunities using a new approach – namely, a Job Quest. This approach uses game board imagery and a medieval quest analogy, complete with knights, wizards, and dragons. Why does this help?

1. The Job Quest Approach Establishes the Right Mindset from the Outset of the Search

People who have a game plan, road map, or blueprint have a better understanding of what they should be doing. They have more targeted goals and drive towards achievement of their goals more effectively. Without the game plan in mind, many people rely instead on a “tool box” approach for their searches. They open the box – “Today I’ll try LinkedIn, or recruiters, or I’ll check job postings on Craig’s List.” That approach is not wrong, but it’s usually less productive because it is more scattershot and not embedded in an overarching strategy.

2. The Job Quest Method Helps Job Seekers Understand What to Do

Once a job seeker learns the rules of the game, he understands the work he should do:

  • Seek out the “wizards and knights” (natural counselors) in the woods and articulate his dream and dilemma and core message.
  • Set up in-person meetings with key people in the realm in which he is seeking to work because more magic happens in person.
  • Develop authentic relationships because trust transfers from the wizard or knight to him.
  • Outsmart the “dragon” at the castle gate by coming in the side door or back door through a trusted contact – wizard or knight – with an endorsement if appropriate.
  • Do good deeds and help people out without expecting anything in return because what goes around comes around, and because generosity is crucial not only for a successful job quest but for a successful life.

And much more.

3. The Job Quest Approach Helps Job Seekers Step Away from their Computers

Authentic relationship building is a skill and an art that is best done in person. As you practice more, you get better at it, just as you improve at basketball when you practice making shots. Done well and done with emotional intelligence, relationship building is the bedrock foundation for a successful career.

When relationship building is used for job search, the seeker hears much more gossip and on-the-ground market intelligence. The job seeker can also figure out how to give back to his contact, and how to find a way to make life a little better for this person who has brainstormed with him, shared his intel, and helped him to connect with others in the realm.

People in sales understand the importance of in-person meetings to create and solidify relationships. When you search for a job you are also in sales – you are selling yourself through a series of mini-interviews or vetting sessions. You really never even need to ask your contact, “have you heard of any jobs?” because the person you are meeting with understands that a job is your ultimate goal and that you need information and advice to achieve your goal.

4. The Job Quest Method Helps the Job Seeker Know She is Making Progress

Armed with game board imagery, a job-seeker can clearly understand that to advance in this game, she needs to identify the castles (workplaces), seek out knights and wizards (natural counselors) in the realm (industry) she is trying to get into, work her way to the castles that are good matches given her current skill set and the market need, and evade the dragons who guard the castles (human resource people and software scanners) by coming to the attention of the castle staff via a trusted contact, ideally with an endorsement.

The Job Quest method also teaches the job seeker overarching concepts that help her measure progress. For example, there is a formula for getting hired that consists of four elements that, if they are fulfilled, are good markers for getting hired:

  1. There is a skill set match between what you offer and what the workplace needs.
  2. The workplace needs help – it is busy, active, and growing.
  3. The culture fit is likely to be good – people already there have backgrounds and work histories that are similar to yours.
  4. You can come to the attention of the workplace through a trusted contact who likes you enough to endorse you to the castle staff or the key keeper (person in charge of the hiring decision).

5. The Job Quest Approach Adds Playfulness

Games are fun. Once we understand the game board, the rules, and the overarching concepts to employ in a job quest, the “work” in networking disappears.

Check out my new book to find out more about how you can start your own job quest!