This week I was talking with some of our Jumpstart my job search
participants, and realized that there are some themes to the challenges and opportunities that they found, which are consistent whether they were just beginning their job search or had been at it for quite a while. So I decided to summarize 5 keys they found most impactful in getting their job search off the ground.
1.Treat it like a full time job
4.Network every day
5.Pay it forward
If you have been at your job search for a little while, or longer than you would like – revisit these 5 key aspects and ask yourself if you are working hard on each – if you are not, take the Thanksgiving holiday to rest up and hit the ground running next week. I can assure you, not focusing on these is part of what is slowing you down.
1.This is a full time job – In today’s environment, looking for a new opportunity takes a full 40-50 hours per week. Less than this will only extend your search. Look at this as a job, in as much as you know that it generally takes more work than the next guy to get ahead understand that this is no different and there are plenty of others competing with you right now. We even recommend getting up an hour earlier every day.
2.Organize yourself – As with any project, it is key to be organized and have your work segmented to maximize efficiency. Take a certain amount of time each day for your research, working on your resume or networking plan, going to networking meetings or coffee and doing the significant amount of follow up required to keep yourself top of mind with the network you are building.
3.Accountability – This is likely to be the most significant aspect between successfully shortening your job search and fumbling along thinking you are doing things right and not seeing progress. They say that what you want to monitor must be measured, the same could not be more true in job search. Everyone in career transition should have a job search accountability buddy or buddies that they meet with each week to review metrics related to successful job search: the number of calls, meetings and the like. In addition you should discuss what you are struggling with and what new goals you have set. By far this is the most critical requirement of a successful job search – if you are not doing this, change today!
4.Network – This should become part of your daily routine, and should not change even when you land. Besides meeting with new and current contacts in the networking sense, make sure you are open to new connections wherever they may be. After all, everyone is somebody’s somebody – so bring your cards with you everywhere and remember that the person serving you your latte, may have a contact that is important to you, get to know them.
5.Pay it forward – This can take many forms, but all have the same result – you will feel better about your self. Whether you contribute to a local food-bank, build a house with Habitat, or just share some of your newly discovered job search tips – this activity is important for a number of reasons. First, it takes the focus off you in this “all about me” time. Second, it helps you reaffirm your value and also helps you see in many cases how lucky you are. This is especially important in networking – I recommend that you attempt to give back to your community (networks) in equal or better proportion to what you get. So if you get 2 new contacts this week from your networking – make at least 2-3 introductions to those in your network in return.
For some these may seem basic, and they are, however – I have seen time and time again where job seekers only go part way, and fail to do all the work required to be successful. So be honest as you review these and make whatever small or large changes you need to get on track. Best of Luck & Happy Thanksgiving!