Is the straightest path always the fastest?

My husband and I walk a lot! Pretty much every day, rain or shine, we are out and about. Sometimes we walk with an errand in mind (post office, pick up some groceries, buy a newspaper) and other times we wander!

There is a very steep hill nearby, and we trek up this hill on many walks. One day I noticed a cyclist who, rather than biking straight up, was zig zagging his way up this hill! (The street ends in a small ethnic centre, and is mostly free of traffic.)

How amazing! It struck me that it's not always the most direct route that is fastest or easiest.

Of course this led me to consider the job hunt's trajectory ... is the most direct route always the fastest or easiest? No, it's not.

Many would argue that the most direct route to finding a job is through a search engine. Find a position, attach your resume, answer a few questions, and done. On to the next one. But given that you're then competing against hundreds and sometimes thousands of applicants, it's not always the fastest.

Recently I worked with a client, updating her resume as she searched for a new job. She is in sales and operations. I also worked with another client, in IT, who similarly required an updated resume. Neither one of these two required the resume until they had networked their way into a possible opening. Neither even bothered with a job board. Both landed jobs quickly.

You can explain this away if you like - they are natural connectors, they know lots of people, they were lucky - but the truth is that even so, "working" a job search is often much faster if you zigzag and take that route less often followed, the route that the job hunting masses ignore in favour of the online job board.

Just saying.

- offering job hunters "out of the box" ideas! - Stephanie