Do you like car shopping? Some people love it – looking at the cars, walking around the lot, test driving cars, etc.
1) What can job seekers learn from the pros who thrive at the car buying process?
2) Why are they so good at it?
A) They’re decisive
What is important to you? Do you want a 2 door or 4 door vehicle? Truck, car or mini van? 4 cylinder or 6? Stick or automatic? The decisions can seem endless and overwhelming. The same thing hold true for the job search. Figure out what’s important to you in a new job before you send out a single resume. Making a list helps. Some things to include – preferred schedule, pay, working environment, dress code, commute, etc. A job can have the best pay in the world, but if you’re going to resent wearing a suit (or dress) every day, working 50+ hours a week or waiting five years to get 2 weeks vacation, then clearly that is not the job to pursue.
B) They know that preparation takes precedence
Like most endeavors, being prepared is going to pay off. If you walk on the lot not knowing the car’s real retail price of the make and model you want, then you’re in trouble. The same thing holds true for the job search. Just like the Kelley Blue Book for cars, there are websites where you can research jobs and pay before you embark on that first interview.
C) They’re prepared to get the best bang for their buck
Buy or lease? Take an internship, contract job or temp to perm? This is where it gets interesting. Just like there are pros and cons to the ways you can finance a vehicle, there are also benefits and drawbacks in the type of position you take. If you have a big family, a mini van might be the right choice for you. Along the same lines, if you’re an extrovert, working at a position that allows for a lot of team and group interaction might be the best choice for you.
D) They know who they’re dealing with
Car salesmen do this every day. They know all the tricks of the trade. In the job search process, you will encounter experienced interviewers, recruiters and hiring managers. Expect that they are good at what they do and up your own game. If you lack confidence in the interview process, you need to practice. The more interviews you go on, the better you will get at them. Look up typical interview questions and rehearse the answers. Ask a friend to help or practice in front of a mirror. Don’t go in cold or unrehearsed.
E) Negotiation is a welcome challenge for them
Negotiation is not for the weak. This can be the trickiest part of both the car buying and job search process. It’s critical to know your numbers. Typical negotiating rules apply here – let them throw out the first figure. When buying a car, don’t tell them what you’re willing to spend or what you want the payments to be. They will manipulate the numbers to fit that figure. For salary negotiations, give a range if you are pressed to reveal a number. Make sure you know what the going rate for the job is. Being able to negotiate well is a critical skill that goes beyond buying a car or getting a job. This article has even more tips if this is an area you want to improve upon.
F) They Think Long Term
When you’re buying a car, it’s important to take into account your driving habits, typical mileage and how long you want to keep the vehicle to get the best trade in value down the line. For job seekers, ask yourself – where do you want to be in five years? Is this job just a stepping stone and a way to gain experience or is it part of the exact career path you’ve mapped out for yourself? There are many different reasons for taking a job. Know why you are choosing the job – not just for today or next year, but how it fits in your future life plans.
This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.
P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.
Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.
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