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An Accidental Truism

Sometimes plans don’t work; and sometimes…

➔ Let’s take a brief look at some job search truisms.

  • Finding a job is hard work. True.

  • Finding a job takes patience. True.

  • Finding a job requires diligence. True.

  • Finding a job demands introspection. True.

  • Finding a job is an accident. What?

Quality accidents

Yes. When you get right down to it, in many cases finding a job is an accident. You’ve heard the stories about how someone walked in the door just as someone else was walking out. You may know someone who applied for a job on a lark… and got the job. There even have been cases of mistaken identity where the people doing the hiring got two applicants confused and actually hired the wrong one. (That is to say, the person who they hired was not the person who they intended to interview.)

Our favorite is the woman who was eavesdropping on a conversation at the next table in a coffee shop. She over heard someone say, “We need to find someone who…” She butted in and offered, “I can do that.” And she ended up getting hired.

Getting back to the accident. In some cases, the successful job seeker is the recipient or the creator of a “quality accident.” Sometimes people just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

But, is it luck? Was it luck that you spent an appropriate amount time researching your target companies? Was it luck that you were constantly reaching out to people for informational interviews, to pick their brains about the job market? Was it luck that you meticulously assembled your resume? Was it luck that you went to networking events where potential job contacts were likely to be?

Notice that we said “job contacts” and not people who were hiring. Those are two very different and separate groups of people. “Job contacts” can help you land a position, not by themselves, but through the people they know.

And that’s no accident.


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