What President Barack Obama Can Teach Us About an Effective Job Search

by Michael on January 27, 2010

We are now just past the one year anniversary of Barack Obama becoming the Forty-Fourth President of the United States of America. While reflecting back on this momentous occasion I couldn’t help but think back to the three years prior when he was on the steps of Springfield declaring himself as a candidate for that same position. He was a mere afterthought at the time but made himself relevant, viable and was ultimately elected. Regardless of your political affiliation, and while this post has nothing to do with mine, I think one could argue that Obama ran one of the best campaigns in the history of this country. How did he do it?  What lessons can you learn from our President that will help you with your job search?

1)      Passion: Every time Barack spoke his charisma won over more and more of the American public. Passion is contagious and when he offered hope for a better America his passion won over those in the audience. You must be passionate about your own abilities, desire to work, and let others share in your desire.

2)      Make it a movement: One of the trademarks of his legendary campaign was the groundswell of support he got from volunteers. Ultimately, Obama had the largest legion of volunteers ever comprised for a political campaign. Those volunteers worked tirelessly on his behalf to make his dream a reality. Be sure to include all of your network connections into your job search. Let them know exactly what it is you are looking to do and how they can help. Follow up with thank-you notes to each and every person in your network.

3)      Confidence: When he spoke his confidence came through as a bedrock of someone we can trust, not as someone whose arrogance was masking any potential insecurity in his own ability to do the job. When speaking to potential employers you must demonstrate assurance in your ability to do the job. An interview is a sales-call and you must get any potential employer convinced you are the right product for their brand. Remember confidence is knowing you are right, cockiness is just false bravado. People can tell the difference.

4) Long-term thinking: Obama knew going into the campaign it was going to be an exhaustive process filled with many emotional swings. However, he stayed committed to his belief that in the long term he would come out victorious. One of the qualities during the presidential debates that most agreed on was that his even-keeled nature instilled calm in people. Obama was able to maintain that disposition because of the belief in his mind from the very first day he entered the race that the outcome was going to be in his favor. Your job search is going to be an arduous process with many defeats along the way, but if you can maintain the focus on the long-term you will minimize the frustrations and learn to actually enjoy the challenge.

5)      Surrounded himself with experts: Obama’s victory is due in large measure to the incredibly savvy, talented team with which he surrounded himself. Each person in his inner circle was able to offer an area of expertise complimentary to the other. The lesson here as it relates to your job search: Seek help from experts who can offer advice and coaching in areas where you are deficient. Nobody is perfect, even the President.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Gutman January 28, 2010 at 3:39 am

You are so right! Your insight drives home the most important points in a job search campaign – and it is a campaign!


Gary Greenberg January 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Michael, I think using President Obama’s success was a very good choice. I also loved that the end of each section you gave a specific example of how it ties into the career path/development of the person reading the blog. Well done! I will help in anyway I can help you build and grow BizBuddy. Love ya, Gag


Marlene Tornabene January 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Your blog will give a lot of people who are job hunting a positive way to look at how to cope with their situation. Being out of work work is an emotional roller-coaster and after reading your blog I felt good about the propsects ahead.

Thanks for putting a positive spin on a gut wrenching task even in the best of times.


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