Do Speculative Job Approaches Actually Work? (Part 1)

The Answer Is a Resounding YES!

Photo by Freddy Castro on Unsplash

However, I have no intention of misleading you here. It may involve sending out hundreds of letters before it brings about one conversation that leads to an interview and on to securing a role.

In some professions, it’s actually the only way things happen as quite often jobs don’t get advertised — the old hidden job market!

But are speculative approaches acceptable across all industries/sectors?

Well, I happen to think so.

To prove my point, I’ll tell you a story about Sean, who designed his speculative approach campaign to target the Public Sector.

Sean decided he wanted to move into the Public Sector. He wasn’t just looking for another job within the Public Sector. He actually wanted to transition from the Private Sector — no mean feat by any standards, considering the Public Sector promote equality and fairness in their job selection process. As a result, all positions will be advertised.

Sean speculatively approached a Government department for a job, not an advertised position but an enquiry, letting them know why he thought his skills, experience, and attributes gained working in the Private Sector would be valuable to that department.

Sean’s approach didn’t receive an immediate response, and he went about his business. Then out of the blue and several months later, he got a call to say that while they don’t usually accept speculative approaches, his letter and CV had impressed them, and they now had a position they considered he would be suitable for and invited him to apply.

His application was successful, and he was invited along for an interview.

This was a stringent interview process, as you would expect in the Public Sector.

Long story short, having been put through his paces, Sean secured the role and therein lies my case that speculatively approaching organisations for work does actually work.

I first shared this story some years ago on my original, now-defunct blog: Evolving Careers. I’m sharing it again because I believe it’s as relevant today, and it was all those years ago.

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories, I share my own experiences, and with permission, stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.

Tap here to read: Do Speculative Job Approaches Actually Work? (Part 2)

Sean’s story along with the assignment that helped him craft his speculative approach and the letter he wrote that started him on his path to reinventing himself was featured in my book How To Successfully Invent and Reinvent Yourself from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.

Click on the above title for an inside view of the book, where you will see the stories and assignments. Tap the link below to see the other books in the series. 

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.