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  • Writer's pictureGrace Ge

How Dao (道) & Shu (术) Can Help You In Your Job Search

One of the questions I've been asked the most during all free career coaching sessions is: "What do you mean to land my dream job?" For sure, every person is a different individual. We grow up with diverse education systems, backgrounds, interests, beliefs, and dreams. How CAN I ensure that the job you get is the DREAM one? There isn't a single answer for everyone. However, I believe there is a UNIQUE way to explore this question.

In the Chinese speaking world, there are two terms.

One is "Dao" (道), the other is "Shu". (术)

To land your dream job, we need to first investigate intensively the first fundamental part.

Dao (道): Dao means something like your 'why', your 'purpose', your 'belonging'.

There are three perspectives we need to discover in YOUR Dao.

  • What do you WANT to do?

  • What are your key SKILLS & EXPERIENCES?

  • What does the Dutch labour market REQUIRE?

Let's go one level deeper for each perspective.

What do you want in your dream job:

Think about a situation where you do not need to work for external reasons anymore. Those external reasons can be finance, social expectations, etc. Then,

  • What do you really want to do?

  • How long will you enjoy doing the same thing?

  • When you thinking about doing it every Monday, will you feel like "Yeah, I will start again!" with your most authentic smile?

  • Even if the work will have some side activities that you enjoy less, are you still willing to do it as it is part of the package?

What are the Skills & Experiences you have?

  • What are you really good at? (Think about basketball for Michael Jordan)

  • What kind of compliments do you always get from your managers, colleagues, or suppliers, or customers?

  • Where did you have an impact previously? (Projects, Departments, Companies, Institutions)

  • What are the greatest achievements that you cannot wait to share with your families & friends?

Requirements from the Dutch labour market:

  • What are the most commonly needed hard skills that are required in the position that you would like to apply for?

  • What are the most necessary software applications that you should master for the position?

  • What are the soft skills that your ideal employers require?

  • What are the company cultures for your potential employers? Do those fit with your personality?

With the integration in those three perspectives, you will get your unique Dao.

Then, we can fully focus on how to execute it into reality.

That's your Shu (术).

You can use the below points like your job search check box.

1. What are the gaps between you (at this moment) and your dream vacancies?

  • Do you have all the hard skills? At least to the basic level?

  • Does the position require Dutch as a mandatory language in daily work?

  • If not, what is your learning plan to mitigate the gaps?

2. What are the most efficient channels/platforms to search for vacancies in your area?

For sure, we know some of the most popular websites for job search. Like LinkedIn, indeed, Monsterboard, etc. And at the same time, some industries also have "special" channels for recruitment. Are you aware of them? (e.g. for IT industry professional).

3. What you can do to attract more headhunters, recruiters, HRs, potential hiring managers to contact you?

Job searching is never a one-way road. The most efficient and effective way is to make it both proactive (apply by yourself) and reactive (attract recruiters to you).

  • How's your Personal Branding?

  • How many recruiters, headhunters contact you per week?

  • How good is your LinkedIn Profile

4. Are your CV & Cover Letter outstanding?

Did you present your Unique Value thoroughly via those two application documents? Like if you hold a mirror in front of yourself, you will see a full person instead of just your face. How is your conversion rate between job applications v.s. 1st round interviews?

5. How are your interview skills?

The interview is also not just one way for employers to get to know you. It's also your chance to get to know the company and see whether it is the right fit for you. If you figure out it is not the right fit, that's also fine. So you can save your time & energy for other opportunities.

Once you are sure that this is the employer you want to work for, can you nail each round of interviews and make sure you will be the one who receives the job offer? How are your presentation & communication skills?

6. What is your value in the Dutch labour market?

Do you have a clear idea of which range of salary is appropriate in the Dutch labour market according to the company you will join, your position, your years of experience? Do you have your salary negotiation strategy?


Job searching can be hard, frustrating and painful.

But if you get things right, it doesn't have to be that way.

You need to get the fundamentals right: your Dao (道).

Then keep learning and master the Shu (术) to land your dream job.

- Grace


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