Work Search, Mayor Nenshi Style

The recent flooding in Alberta has brought out the very best in people – neighbours and strangers banding together to support and assist, companies and individuals stepping up with incredible donations, and community leaders demonstrating true leadership in a time of crisis.

As a huge fan of Mayor Nenshi I had no doubt he would handle the challenges faced by his city and its residents with grace, professionalism, and compassion. He did not disappoint. While I hope his Mayorship continues well into the future, and while I hope he is never faced with a similar crisis again, I know that his behaviours, actions, and interactions in light of the challenges posed by the flooding have ensured that he will never have to look for work.

While the statistics vary it is safe to say that the majority of job vacancies are filled informally through the "hidden job market". Have you ever been approached about a position that you didn't even know was available or been recommended by a friend or colleague for a job that you hadn't even considered? Has anyone ever commended you for your response to a particular situation and recognized you for a particular strength or characteristic that would be beneficial for work in a particular industry or occupation? You don't have to lead a city through a major crisis like Mayor Nenshi did to avoid conducting a formal work search but there are a few things you can do to set yourself up as a desirable candidate for jobs you may not even know about. 

1. Be visible. 
Throughout the flood crisis Mayor Nenshi was visible. He was active on Twitter and Facebook; he was featured in the news, on websites, and in papers; and he was out and about in his community. Calgarians knew he was there and they knew he was there for them.

You don't have to be on the front page of the newspaper or update your LinkedIn profile every day but if you want to be noticed and recognized you need to be visible. Contribute to conversations related to your area of expertise; attend courses and seminars; present at conferences or professional development events; write and share articles; volunteer. Demonstrate your value in everything you do and your knowledge, skills, and abilities will be recognized. 

2. Be steadfast. 
He could have left his city in the hands of emergency responders and civil servants and gone for a nap but he stood with his city and did what needed to be done. He listened, advocated, monitored, updated, inspired, motivated, helped, and lead. He was there for his city and its people through all of the ups and all of the downs and continues to be a beacon of strength and hope.

When you establish yourself as reliable, dedicated, and consistent you secure your credibility and gain the trust of others. You can increase your desire as a potential candidate by being steadfast. 

3. Be gracious. 
While his every action, word, and gesture was worthy of praise Mayor Nenshi made sure that Calgarians, Albertans, and Canadians knew how much they were appreciated, how proud he was of them, and how grateful he was for their support. He accepted the gratitude extended to him graciously but also took every opportunity to say thank you to the many people who were working tirelessly to keep the city and its residents safe.

Do you give credit where credit is due? Are you gracious in accepting praise? Do you express your gratitude for the assistance and support of others? Generosity and graciousness go hand in hand and both are critical components to successfully navigating the hidden job market. 

Mayor Nenshi's true colours sparkled in the face of crisis. He demonstrated what it means to be competent, capable, creative, courageous, consistent, and community minded. What are you doing to demonstrate the same?

“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a transformer in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” ~ Stephen Covey


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