If you follow politics closely, you probably know that Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, is actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton’s soon-to-be vacated senate seat. While the Governor of New York will appoint the successor and no voting will be involved, “campaign” seems the operative word.
Since this isn’t a political blog, why am I writing about New York politics? Interestingly, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, from another big political dynasty in New York, is also interested in the job. However, instead of getting right out in front and lobbying for it, he sat back and “respected the process” while Kennedy jumped out as an early front runner. Now, per the New York Times, he is “fuming” and feeling “outfoxed and frustrated” because Caroline Kennedy has all of the momentum.
Sounding more and more like a ripe story for a career search lesson? While most of us will (1) never have a name associated with a political dynasty or (2) be interested in political office, this story (made even more juicy by the fact that Cuomo was involved in a messy divorce from Kerry Kennedy, Caroline’s cousin), has several great lessons for job seekers.
Know your industry. In this case, since politics are involved, it seems that Cuomo would have known that getting the word out that he was interested would have been the prudent thing to do. Instead, Cuomo waited while Kennedy began a tour of the state, meeting high-level officials and garnering support. In fact, the NYT quotes NYC political figure Vito Lopez as saying, “I don’t think [silence] works…If a potential candidate is interested, it is imperative that they step up and activate their campaign.“
You snooze, you loose. While nothing is official, it would seem that Kennedy has the best chance of winning the appointment. Cuomo is left to think that he could have impacted the situation had he done things differently…
The job hunt is in your hands. Has there ever been a time when you have known there was an opportunity in your company (or another organization) that you thought you were perfectly qualified to do? You thought everyone would recognize your qualifications and you’d land the job? It doesn’t always work that way. Job seekers need to step out of the shadows and take an active role. In some firms, that may mean vocal lobbying for a job. In others, quiet meetings with influential stakeholders. Yet others may send the equivalent of smoke signals indicating their interest. The point here is that you can’t just throw up your hands. You must take an active role if you want a chance to land a job.
Drive your own career bus! If the Governor of New York appoints Cuomo (or another candidate), we’ll have lessons for another blog! In the meantime, as we approach a new year, this is a good time to remember that most people don’t just land their dream jobs by sitting around complacently, doing good work and not drawing any attention. In today’s competitive marketplace, you need to speak up for yourself. Don’t be left sitting on the sidelines while a more vocal (and gutsy) rival moves to land the job you want.
Have you ever sat by and watched someone else lobby for a job you wanted, but stayed quiet? Or, are you the careerist you boldly moves forward andÃ‚Â gets the job? Share your thoughts in the comments!
If you are tired of sitting around, waiting for some great job, Keppie Careers can help you turn the ignition on your job hunt.
photo by talkradionews