The Job Hunter’s Guide to BBQ Season


Heard this before? “You want cheese on that burger, and hey, how’s the job hunt going?”In BBQ season, hamburgers aren’t the only things being grilled.  Anyone looking for a job in the GTA, or Canada, can count on being grilled this summer by well-meaning friends, family, neighbours.

At The Bagg Group, we get you. We’ve earned many awards thanks to candidates who give us top scores for listening and understanding, and of course for our great placements.

So we understand that looking for new opportunities is like a full-time job, and there are times when you need a break and just want to talk about those Jays.

But there’s also a way to make the BBQ a networking opportunity that’s not just painless, but downright fun.

Think talking about a job search is never fun. Just wait until you try out these 3 unusual techniques created by The Bagg Group expert recruiters.  All of these have been used successfully by those who have been where you are today  — in line for ketchup and for a new job.

 Tell a story:  Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”  Ira Glass, host of This American Life

Think about your job search as a journey, and tell that story. No need to talk about the outcome.

Instead, recount any interesting or funny anecdotes, or insights, in your search to find new opportunities.

Everyone loves a good story. If you have had strange interviews, seen some surprising job postings, met some interesting people … that is all great material.

2 reasons why this works:

When you answer a question about how  your job search is going with a story, all the sudden looking for a job isn’t about what you don’t have, it’s about the adventure you’re having as you try to find the right work for you. That’s going to hook interest.

We are the stories we tell.  Tell an uplifting one, and you become a source of inspiration.

According to Hopi wisdom, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.”  You can be sure that, “Those who tell the stories rule the BBQ.”

Turn the tables:  It’s not about me, it’s about you.

You can get a lot of mileage out of answering a question about your job search by saying something like, “Looking for work has its rewards. I’ve been learning a lot about the industry, what I can do, and how to roll with change. How is your work going?

2 reasons why this works:

You’re instantly letting someone know that you’re growing, you’re learning, you are developing insight, skills, wisdom.  All strong positives.

You’re getting someone to talk about their work which gives you a chance to listen for any opportunities. 

Deflect:  Did you hear about So and So?

Open up the conversation to make the point that just about every successful person has done different things on the way to ending up where they want to be. Try something like, ““I’m looking into all kind of interesting possibilities. Did you know George Clooney used to be an insurance salesman? And Angelina Jolie applied to be a funeral director?  It’s funny how career paths twist and turn.”

2 reasons why this works:

You are giving off a sense optimism and showing openness.  That sells people.

It inspires people to mention opportunities which they might not otherwise have thought would be of interest to you. Temp work is a case in point.  At The Bagg Group, we place many people in temporary positions who choose to enjoy different work experiences, and want to earn some income and meet some great people during their search for other full-time opportunities.

Recruiters at Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg @ Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources and Turn Key Staffing wish you a great summer that blends productivity (check out our job board) with relaxation, and good story or two.

Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach who has helped hundreds successfully put their best foot forward at interviews and in the workplace. She is also writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group.


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