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Q  "Jobs don't come from degrees"
I am a recent college graduate with two B.A.'s: one in international studies with a minor in global systems and the other B.A. in cultural anthropology. I am having a hard time finding a job within the various busness sectors with those two degrees. I have some experience, but not too much since i just graduated not too long ago. What do you suggest?

A  You're basically asking me for a complete strategy on how to find a job. There's just no way I can articulate that in a posting -- you'll find the whole approach on Ask The Headhunter and my book. The purpose of the ATH message board is to tackle more specific questions and problems.

That said, don't think in terms of your degrees. Degrees don't produce jobs. Your ability to work profitably does. There may be little connection between your education and the work you will do -- that's a very likely scenario. But it doesn't mean you don't have "the knowledge" to do the work. It means you will have to map any knowledge and skills you do have against the particular work an employer needs done. That means you have to start by understanding that work.

Don't think in terms of finding a job. Think about finding a good company. Then go after it like there's no other place for you to work. The biggest mistake most people make is this: they pursue all jobs at once, as though any job will do. There's just no way you can intelligently pursue lots of jobs; the necessary research would be impossible to do. What happens when you pursue lots of jobs at once is you wind up talking to employers about whom you know very little -- and that can sink you in an interview.

Focus. Decide where you want to work. Study. Figure out what problems and challenges a specific company faces (that's what I mean by "the work"). Then sit down and apply your skills and knowledge to those problems. Put together a presentation that shows how you're going to contribute. Be specific -- that's what gets an employer's attention.

You'll find the right managers to talk to by doing the research necessary to prepare that presentation. And that means reading and talking to people in (or close to) your target company. That's how you make contacts.

Please think about this -- and start taking a more directed approach.

The Headhunter


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