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Job Search Lessons You Can Learn from Your Cat

- November 8, 2013

Have you ever gotten up in the morning to face a challenging day, while your cat snuggles further into the blankets, facing a day of sunbeams and zero responsibilities? Have you ever let your cat in after a day of outdoor adventures and wondered what she’s been up to? What items did she check off her life list while you sat there chained to your cubicle or staring at a screen of endless job postings?

No matter how your day may have differed from hers, she has plenty to teach you as it comes to an end. So tune in and be edified by her wisdom and experience. Here are some job tips you can learn from your feline friend.

1. Play it cool…on the outside.

Even when you’re inwardly desperate, at the end of your rope, and willing to do almost anything to get an employer’s attention, pause. Keep an eye on what your behavior looks like from the outside. Monitor your body language, the punctuation you use in your emails, and your resume and cover letter word choices. Pay attention to how close you’re standing to a network contact at a party. Keep the exclamations and sycophantic smiley faces under control. If you can smell what the person had for lunch, you’re too close. Step back. Stay steady.

2. When they like you, they just like you.

Why do we love cats so much? After all, they do absolutely nothing for us—in a practical anyway. But love them we do, with a love that shows up in every generation in almost every culture all over the world. What we derive from their company is an eternal mystery. But like ideal employers, we protect them, we’re loyal to them, and we give them the benefit of the doubt. Stop trying to crunch the numbers and crack this equation. Just watch and learn.

3. Dress for success (don’t dress to impress). 

When it comes to clothing choices, remember two important rules: Be neat, and fit in. Overdressing at work isn’t a great move, since it suggests attempts at domination or competition or other tiresome head games. At the same time, underdressing is disrespectful. Just get the lay of the land, notice how those around you are dressed, stay within that range, and keep yourself clean, neat, and presentable.

4. Have faith.

Why did you hire your cat? Why did you bring her into your home in the first place? At this point, does it even matter? For her, the “job search” is over. Somehow things worked out, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t work out in the future. Life gets better. It’s a simple truth. Don’t overthink it.

5. Keep an eye on what’s in it for you.

Why are you looking for a job? Why are you toiling away at the sub-par job you already have? You may have a long list of answers, including a need for fulfillment and personal satisfaction, a need for money, and a desire to please and impress your employer. But if your list includes only the third item and not the first two, something is wrong. Don’t sell yourself short. Bad offers are just that, and if you can do better, do better. Your time, your energy, your heart, your hands, and your mind are all valuable. Make sure what you’re getting back is equal to what you’re giving up.

Cats Don’t Need Resumes, but You Do.

Unfortunately, while your cat can teach you plenty of things about life, work, the job search, and how to get what you need from those who can help you, she can’t teach you very much about how to create a strong resume. But don’t worry! For that, you have all the tips, resources, and formatting tools you need right here at MyPerfectResume. Check out the site’s easy-to-use resume builder, and while she’s chasing mice, you can start chasing the job of your dreams.

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