5 Lessons Jon Snow Teaches us about Job Searching Confidently

Tips and tricks for confident job searching from HBO’s favorite brown-eyed hunk.

Goal Setting Makes Mojo Happy

By Coach Mojo

JON SNOW KNOWS SOMETHING ABOUT CLIMBING THE LADDER.

After all, the dude had quite the adventure over the course of Game of Thrones’ seven season run (plus the one we don’t talk about). From the lowly bastard of Winterfell, to Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, to the King of the North, one thing is abundantly clear:

Jon Snow knows something — like how to climb the ladder, starting from the very first rung.

Here in the world beyond Westeros, many of us are trying to do the same thing. Maybe not reaching for “king” of anything. But we have dreams. Ambitions. Career aspirations.

So what can we learn from HBO’s favorite brown-eyed unkillable hunk, if we’re standing at square one?

Here are five things Jon Snow teaches us about finding a job. Fair warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead.

LESSON 1: KNOW YOUR VALUES

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Jon Snow didn’t start with much. Just a nasty label, a sword, and a strong moral compass. And it’s that last one — his deepest values of honor, compassion, and equality — which drove every decision he made, whether or not he carried the public’s opinion.

His values led him to the wall, to victory on the battlefield, to the wildlings’ aid, to his death, and ultimately, to royalty.

Just like Jon, this is where our journey begins: by knowing what we want, and most importantly, why.

Do we want to change the world, or rake in cash, or do something fulfilling?… 
Do we have the skills to do it?…
And finally, what are we willing to risk to make it happen?

Takeaway: Think about your values, not in terms of what you think they should be, but what they really and truly are. Sleep on them. Meditate. When you know them in your head and your heart, let them be your guide. Hopefully in a less, er, stabby direction than Jon.

"Think about your values, not in terms of what you think they should be, but what they really and truly are. Sleep on them. Meditate. When you know them in your head and your heart, let them be your guide."

lesson 2: never stop learning

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There was a time that Jon Snow really did know next to nothing. Not even where he came from (sad face).

But if there’s one thing that defines Jon Snow, it’s that he’s constantly learning new truths about the world, and is forced to adapt to them. Once a follower, he learned to lead his people. Once a boy who’d never seen battle, he learned to strategize for war…

…and then promptly eviscerate those plans by running after his captive brother who was CLEARLY GOING TO DIE! Deep breath*. I digress.

Applying for jobs can take time. So we should humbly acknowledge our blindspots, and buff up those skills through workshops, online tutorials, or Syrio, First Sword of Bravos. Our pursuit of new skills will make us a better candidate and illustrate passion during interviews.

Speaking of which…

lesson 3: conversations are (almost) everything

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Little known fact: Jon Snow sent at least a dozen resumes for positions in the Night’s Watch, from stable boy to cook (dude cooks a mean Pigeon Pie). Each was promptly fashioned into a paper dragon, and tossed off the wall along with deserters.

Why? Because resume-blasting is a false prophet. It tantilizes us with the promise of progress, but ultimately goes nowhere. Kind of like season eight.

In fact, statistics reveal only 2 percent of candidates who apply for jobs online are called in for interviews — and 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking!

Ultimately, it wasn’t those resumes that landed Jon his post, but a simple conversation with his Uncle Benjen and Joer Mormont. The lesson? Nepotism, baby. (KIDDING!)

We propel our job search by having casual conversations with people who matter — people who work at our desired company or in the industry.

Buy them a cup of coffee. Ask them how they got there. Slip ‘em a twenty (kidding again!). Then, after the conversation’s over, ask if they know anyone else you can talk to. Plant those seeds!

lesson 4: assemble a job search committee

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Where would Jon be without his trusted friend, Sam? Or his aforementioned mentor, Uncle Benjen? Or Melisandre, the Woman in Red?

Dead. Like, real f*cking dead.

The good news is, our job search probably isn’t life or death, even if it feels like it at times. And by assembling a job search committee, we’ll never feel alone. Here’s who to include in our committee:

A “Loyal Friend” aka “a Samwell Tarly” — A person we can lean on for emotional support, ask for advice and feedback, and share our ups and downs. If we have more than one person, even better!

A “Wise Person” aka “an Uncle Benjen” — a mentor to seek guidance throughout this process. Maybe we already have someone in our field we consider a mentor. If not, think back on relevant teachers or bosses who’ve offered advice or welcomed you to contact them for follow-up.

A “Brother or Sister in Arms” aka “a Daenerys Targaryen” — someone else who’s going through the job-search process at the same time. We can encourage each other, exchange advice, and help hold each other accountable.

Lesson 5: Keep Hope Alive, Even when You Think You’re Dead

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When Jon Snow took six shanks to the abdomen, did he just keel over and die? Well, yes. But did he stay dead? Hell no! He sat up on a creaky wooden table, buck naked, threw on his fur, and went back to work.

And that’s exactly what we should do.

When a conversation is over, don’t let it die. Even if an interview doesn’t go our way… even if it’s just a casual conversation with a new contact — we always send a follow-up email by the end of the day, and ask if they’d be willing to stay in touch (provided we clicked on some level).

If they say no? Retribution time! Ahem, I mean, leave them alone. Obviously…

If they say yes? Stay in touch, maybe once a month, by passing along interesting articles, hope-you’re-wells, or even connection leads.

Keep the conversation alive. You never know where it could lead down the road.

Thank you Jon Snow…

For a series of thrilling entertainment, and now five great job-search lessons.

Want more tools and techniques to gain confidence for your job-search, or any of life’s many quests? Download Confidently on your mobile phone — and start empowering your everyday greatness.
Unless you’re happy being a Nightwalker with no prospects.
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