Occult blood samples and the “hidden” Job market


Alfredo Prado Hector Stanford, my dad


Don’t laugh. Your time will come. One day, on a certain number birthday, your doctor will look you straight in the eye and tell you, “I want you to have a baseline colonoscopy“. I’m facing my second in a lifetime. Colon cancer took my dad away from this world. Fathers’ Day is still a little hard for me. Knowing my heritage and taking the test may save my life. I know that, but it does not make it any nicer or easier for me. The thought of doing the research about a potential job; having to ask questions of complete strangers never makes an introvert’s day. 

Before you go in for the-not-so glam shots of your bowel and the all-points sweep for the polyps, you collect fecal specimen in a little bag labeled, “fecal occult blood test” (occult =hidden or secret) and take it to the lab.  The doctor is looking for blood hidden  in the stool– one of the warning signs of colon cancer. I can’t tell you I  love that test. It’s a nasty business.  I don’t love job hunting either, because like doing that test for “fecal occult blood”, searching in the “hidden job market” can get nasty too. 

 We all know by now that answering advertised postings only  does not work for 80% of us, but we wish it did. It is oh, so easy; so clean to just sit at the computer screen, in control of it all, applying and applying and applying, being lulled into a false sense of productivity. It’s not so easy to dig like a rat terrier for real people to talk to. However, it’s the tedious digging ; the burrowing; the getting close enough to a target in order to know and be known that uncovers the jobs. You’ve got to get eyes and ears high up inside a company–into the bowels, so to speak. There’s no other way to asess  either your possible good for them or their possible bad for you. Unless somebody comes up with a jimmy-cracked-corn better idea, the nasty part of an effective job search just cannot be skipped. 

In loving memory of my father, Alfredo Prado Hector Stanford, native of the Republic of Panama