Sarah Palin Teaches Job Seekers Not to Throw in the Towel

I don’t believe that it’s a good idea to inject politics into the workplace. Inevitably, people will disagree, and some will feel it’s necessary to “convert” people to their “right” way of thinking. In any case, it’s a can of worms, a Pandora’s box – once opened, it can’t be contained again.

So, I don’t choose political sides on my blog. However, I’ve been a bit of a political junkie since I was a kid. Somehow, I can’t get enough of the talk shows and articles and blogs about the ins and outs of the presidential election. I can’t help but be inspired to write a post about John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for his VP spot.

Two angles that interest me as a blogger writing about career issues:

  1. Governor Palin’s relative inexperience.
  2. The blog that some credit for raising her profile.

Experience in the Job Hunt

No matter what your political bent, you are probably surprised that McCain chose someone from such a small state, who, on paper, has less experience than any VP pick in modern history (per the Huffington Post).

What does this mean for job seekers? I think it means – you never know! On one hand, I just blogged about the risks of taking a job that is beyond your experience. On the other hand, maybe Palin’s accomplishments and specific skills (including the less quantifiable “soft” skills) make her very well qualified to balance a ticket with McCain. Sometimes, the “right” person for the job may not be as obvious as it seems.

The lesson? Maybe there is a promotion at your organization that you’d like to shoot for, but you figure another candidate is a shoo-in. Don’t throw in the towel! Think about what you can do to stand out. What makes you just right for the job? Think outside of the box, focus on all of your skills and contributions and make sure the decision makers know what you have to offer.

Which brings us to point #2:

Some Credit Blogger for VP Pick

Adam Brickley, a 21-year old college student apparently has been blogging in an effort to win Sarah Palin a spot on the Republican ticket since last year. The power of social media? Perhaps! Just as you don’t really know what the tipping point is that causes an organization to choose one qualified candidate over another, seemingly equally qualified candidate, we’ll never really know how much influence (or not) this blog had. Brickley did report that he received a call from the Palins after McCain’s official announcement.

The lesson for job seekers here? You never know what can tip the scales. While Brickley’s blog may have had little influence, it is safe to say that his impact was more than just blowing into the wind. I often tell job seekers that blogging can be good for their careers. For a strong writer, starting a blog is a great way to demonstrate expertise in an area. With employers “Googling” applicants, blogging is one way to help control your digital footprint (what people find when they search for your name). If you blog, you directly impact what comes up, which is especially useful if you aren’t happy with current search results.

Only time will tell how Governor Palin will fare in the VP race, but no matter what the outcome, don’t ignore the lessons for your own career or job hunt!

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Thinking of reaching for a position that seems out of reach? Need some help to give your job hunt a boost? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services, including resume writing, interview preparation and job hunt coaching:


1 Response to “Sarah Palin Teaches Job Seekers Not to Throw in the Towel”

  1. 1 Paul September 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Palin presents the classic resume writing challenge: The ill-qualified individual in search of high position. As a professional resume writer, I usually try to talk my clients back down to earth, but sometimes it isn’t possible.

    In Palin’s case, the employer is the U.S. public, and she presents problems that will keep the McCain resume-writing team busy. How do they present her as experienced, when two years ago she was mayor of an Alaskan village of 5,000? How can they cast her as “ready at 3 a.m.” when she has never taken part in a national debate on global issues? How can they depict her as qualified while continuing to say Obama is not? What sort of sample resume did she show Senator McCain?

    Actually this situation presents Palin with an opportunity, even if she loses. Her resume will be stronger by November, win or lose, having been a candidate. Most job applicants don’t have that fortune.

    For more, see my blog at

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