Using WYSIWYG to Improve Your Job Seeking Results

Larry Arrance

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No, WYSIWYG is not a hairpiece with a bladder problem. It is an acronym for “What you see is what you get. " Nostalgia buffs will be pleasantly or unpleasantly reminded of Flip Wilson in drag as “Geraldine" strutting about proclaiming, “What you see is what you get!" It later referred to whatever you saw on your computer screen was what you were going to get. So what happens when you don't like what you see or what you get? Simple: go look somewhere else and for something else.

There is a little formula I like to share with jobseekers. It's called E+R=O. E stands for Event, R stands for Response and O stands for Outcome. Basically, an event will arise in your life. You respond to the event and you experience an outcome. If you don't like the outcome, which part of the equation can you change? That's right – response. You can't, though many people try, to change the event. All you can adjust is the response.

Example – a large organization you work for is laying off (Event), you deny it's happening and go about your life as usual (Response), and when the final day comes you are unprepared for you job search or the lifestyle of the unemployed (Outcome). If you look back at the event, could you change the fact that the employer was laying you off? If the answer was ‘Yes', then you may have chosen a different response and more likely enjoyed a better outcome. But because there usually isn't anything you could do about it, you could've chosen a more proactive response and had a much different outcome.

Smart people would have acknowledged that the impending layoff would mean there was going to be changes in their lives. A better response would have been to update their resumes and cover letters, research other opportunities and get their networks tuned up and ready to go. That way, they could have adjusted their budget to allow for any time between paychecks or possibly uncover another job before theirs became history.

The events in our lives are generally neutral. By that I mean it is neither positive nor negative. Give the same event to one person and they are devastated. For another person, it becomes a great opportunity. Some people have said that getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to them. If you don't like the outcome of your job search so far, then maybe it's time to look at it again and see where you can adjust your response. What could you do differently that would get you better results? A better way to look at it is: What I See Depends On What I Look For.

Larry Arrance has facilitated workshops for over 4,000 job seekers and career changers. He has personally guided hundreds through the development of powerful marketing tools in their quest to gain employment. During his 12 years as an employment coach and facilitator he has helped clients that ranged from those who were just entering the market, the long-termed unemployed, professionals making major career changes, and victims of restructuring. He is one the part of the three amigos, specializing in career and job search advice.


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