Struggling to find a job? Ask yourself the right question

How an imaginary friend can help you find a job

In thinking about what job hunting pearls of wisdom I could share with you in this article, I went to one of my tried and true problem solving techniques and asked myself “What would MacGyver do?”

For those of you too young to remember, back in the late 80s (where my hair cut is from) there was a TV show called MacGyver. It was an action-adventure series about a character called, not surprisingly, MacGuyver. He was ridiculously resourceful and able to solve complex problems with everyday items, his trusty Swiss Army Knife, and some duct tape.

How to produce a result when you’ve got no idea.

His resourcefulness was so legendary, it spawned the saying “What would MacGyver do?”. The idea being, when you’re not sure what to do and when you’re faced with impossible odds, you simply ask yourself this question. And regardless of how stupid it seems, the question helps you come up with ideas you wouldn’t usually come up with on your own. It certainly worked for me, because whadda ya know, here we are with this blog, courtesy of my good and very helpful imaginary friend MacGuyver.

Richard Branson and Donald Trump are waiting to help you.

Now, before you scoff and write me off as a bit of a nutter, let me propose this: your brain is actually pretty powerful. I don’t need to know you personally to know that’s true. If you’re reading this now, you at least have some ability and your brain is more than likely capable of a lot more than what you usually get it to do. One way to access the power of your brain is to ask it better questions. “What would MacGuyver do?”, as ridiculous as it may sound, is a great question to ask in certain situations. Although if you’re looking for a job, you may also want to ask yourself “What would Richard Branson do?” Or Donald Trump. Or Steve Jobs. Because no, your fictional mentors don’t even have to be alive to help you out.

I’m not for a minute suggesting you are going to be cosmically connected to these people. I am, however, suggesting that by thinking about what you know of their style and how they go about getting things done, you may well come up with ideas you wouldn’t come up with on your own. I don’t personally recommend turning up to a job interview dressed in drag a la Branson, but do I think doing something to stand out the same way Branson so often does himself is a good idea? Absolutely.

You don’t even have to know your mentor.

The truth is, I can give you advice til I’m blue in the face, (or hair), but the reality is I can’t give you advice that is going to cover absolutely every possible scenario or every phase in your job hunting journey. What I can tell you, is when you’re not sure what to do, there’s most likely someone who does know. Maybe it’s someone who’s done it before. Maybe it’s a friend or a real life mentor. Or who knows, maybe it’s a fictional TV character or world famous business icon you’ll never even meet.

Oh, and if you haven’t got a real life mentor or two yet, what the hell are you thinking!?!?!? And if you’re not sure how to go about getting one, you can either ask yourself “What would Sputnik do?” or wait for my next blog when I’ll tell you exactly that.

More reading:

What’s more important for job hunters? Skills, or experience & credentials?
How to find (and keep) a good mentor
Why you should be looking for a boss, not a job


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Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.


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