First things first in a job search: Always do good work
This is unfortunately one of those weeks when a lot of sportswriters and editors have lost their jobs. So a two-part series by Steve Buttry on his Buttry Diary blog is particularly timely—although it’s never a bad time for good advice on searching for a job.
Job-hunting tips: Spread the word, network, be patient and persistent, posted Tuesday, and Prepare for your next job hunt while you’re still working, from Wednesday, are both packed with great advice.
The latter post offers a great reminder that there are no shortcuts. You can spread the word, network and be patient and persistent all you want, but if you don’t do good work, it won’t matter a bit:
Quality work often isn’t enough, but job-hunting success always starts there. You can do good work and still not succeed in a job hunt because you didn’t do the things I discussed yesterday (or just because job-hunting is hard). But no amount of digital sophistication, networking or other techniques discussed here is likely to help if you don’t do quality work.
Buttry apologizes for what sounds like boasting, then details how throughout his career, he’s been able to take advantage of opportunities because he’d done a good job somewhere. An old boss or co-worker was willing to hire him or put in a good word for him because he’d done good work in the past, not because he was such a great guy—”I can be pushy, demanding and persistent,” he admits.
But again: “Quality work often isn’t enough.”
Read both posts, even if you’re not job-hunting at the moment. As Buttry notes in the second one, the best way to get your next gig is to be laying the groundwork for a successful search at your current one. The best thing about that: It’ll likely make you better at your current job, because the first order of business is “Do good work.”