You are in the driver’s seat – a Roadmap for Job Seekers (Part II)

More tried-and true tips and advice to inform and inspire you to get your career in gear.

Part I focused on getting started and planning your job search:

Determine your destination: Identify your target industry/jobs.
Prepare your Triptik: Create a plan of action.
Ask for directions: Enlist the help of people you trust and/or career experts to offer feedback and support in planning your job hunt.

Let’s continue the ride ….

Be the best driver you can be

Work hard at your job search and treat the whole process as you would any full time job, allowing 35-40 hours for this endeavor:

  • Prepare your daily and weekly “to do list” and mark them on your calendar.
  • Be specific and quantify: # of phone calls a day, # of networking meetings per week etc.
  • Schedule several breaks during your “work day”.
  • Manage your time wisely.
  • Develop a system for tracking your activities and always follow up.
  • In the absence of a work team, conduct your own “office meeting” to assess your progress, reflect, identify challenges, and perform tune up as needed.
  • Create your “board of directors” – a network of people you trust. (See below regarding “support”).
  • Pay yourself a bonus; Reward yourself for your hard work.

Take side streets

Maneuver your job search strategically and creatively to avoid those dreaded traffic jams. After all, All roads lead to Rome”. Concentrate on the hidden job market but employ a variety of traditional methods as well. It is a “numbers game”. (A word of caution: Do not confuse activity with productivity).

Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Like many job seekers facing rocky roads, you may experience feelings which run the gamut of rejection or failure, shame, loss of self esteem, confusion, powerlessness, hopelessness, anger, depression and tremendous stress. While these are understandable, it is essential that you avoid coming to a full stop. Here are strategies that work well for my clients:

  • Recognize that you are not in Kansas any more. Your job hunt challenges are a product of a tough economy and a highly competitive job market. Moreover, the world of work, career development and management, hiring practices and the ground rules for job search have undergone a tremendous overhaul. You have no control over these changes (it is said that the only one who likes change is a wet baby…), but it is up to you to embrace the new reality, accept the paradigm shift, and focus on what is under your control.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and learn a new set of skills to conduct an effective job search. Be flexible and adaptable.
  • Practice persistence. Remember what happens to the squeaky wheel?
  • Seek support; Join at least one job club, networking and/or support group (there are plenty of them around, including bookstores) where you will meet many talented and seasoned job seekers who may be doing all the right things, but have still not gotten a job. In addition to enjoying the benefits of tips, advice and leads, it will normalize your situation and will make you realize, that this is just temporary. Another source of support are professionals: career counselors and coaches, and, in some cases, therapists.
  • Peruse letters of reference, work samples, resumes and any other documents that can attest to your talents and accomplishments. My clients find these very empowering. I actually have them create a professional portfolio for this reason (and many others).
  • Last, but not least: check negative attitude and feelings at the door, since you are running the risk of forfeiting your chances for being hired. You may be dressed to the ninth for a coveted job interview, but you are never fully dressed until you wear a smile on your face. The same goes for phone interviews and, actually, for all networking activities, in person and via social media.

Armed with the right attitude and a solid roadmap, sooner or later you will arrive at your destination. You will get the job you want and put your career back in gear. I’ve been there, done that, and so can you.

I wish you the very best!!!

%d bloggers like this: