In my last blog, I gave you some tips to get started on your job search – commit to a plan, take inventory, create and practice your infomercial, keep your resume up to date, tell everyone you know that you’re looking and what you’re looking for!
Now that you’ve done all that (you have, haven’t you!?) let’s talk about putting your plan into action.
First of all – get out there! Most people spend 80% of their job search time on the computer and only 20% (or less) networking and meeting people. It should be the opposite. Those rumors you heard about the Internet being a job-search “black hole” are true. Think about where you can go to make professional contacts. Where are other people in your industry going? Find professional organizations in your field and become an active part of them. Volunteer. Seek opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and colleagues. There are a number of job search networking groups in the Bay Area. Their meetings often include panel discussions with corporate HR representatives who can give you the latest information on who’s hiring.
Maintain an online presence. This doesn’t mean posting your resume on every job site. It means being active on social networking sites, in particular, LinkedIn. Develop a strong LinkedIn summary and be sure your work experience is up-to-date and achievement oriented. Make sure you have at least three recommendations that speak to your abilities. Build your credibility and presence by posting articles and commenting on topics related to your areas of expertise. And, of course, join online groups in your field.
Be open and flexible. You have your career ideas in play. With that said, be sure you are listening to ideas and expertise from others as well. Don’t be a “yes, but…” person, be a “yes, and…” person.
Always be thinking “what’s next?” When you land an opportunity, don’t allow yourself to become complacent. What additional skills and competencies do you need to grow in that position and to prepare for the one after that? Stay current!
Most of all, be certain you are living a full life. Career is obviously important, and…it is not everything. What are you doing to have fun? Are you healthy? Are you in a good place with your significant other, family and friends? Are you really living your life based on what success looks like for you?
Don’t stop believin’!
Till next time,
If you’ve been putting off looking for a new opportunity because of summer play and the kids being out of school…well, time’s up. If you are ready to move on, the best time to get started is NOW before the next wave of potential excuses (officially known as “the holidays”) are upon us.
Yes, looking for work takes time and effort. Start by getting focused and developing a plan. Take that first step. Keep a journal of your research notes, your thoughts and feelings and your personal roadmap to career success. Whatever you do, stay positive. Your positive energy will show as you network and interview and will bring you more positive results. Be kind to yourself. Every single day.
Tip #1 Make a Plan and Commit to It
What is your timeframe for landing a new opportunity? Be realistic about your expectations. Everything takes longer than you think. Be patient and stay focused on your goals. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself (remember what I said about being kind?) How many hours per week are you going to spend looking for work? Based on that number, make a weekly plan. Be as specific as possible.
Tip #2 Take Inventory to Remind Yourself about You
What are your skills? Really think about this. Don’t sell yourself short. What are your values? What is most important to you personally and professionally? What are your barriers (things that have stopped you in the past from being where you want to be)? What accomplishments are you most proud of? Where have you had the most success and why?
Tip #3 Create and Practice a Personal “Infomercial”
Practice communicating your unique professional identity clearly and concisely. What makes you special? What type of work are you looking for? Tell people what you want. “Help them help you.” What does success look like for you? If, based on your inventory, there might be multiple job options available to you, create a clear message for each.
Tip #4 Keep Your Resume Up to Date
When was the last time you updated your resume? Without an up-to-date resume, you may miss a golden opportunity! Review your resume at least every 6 months. Keep a “kudos” file with complimentary emails, project successes, and other accomplishments so you don’t have to strain your brain trying to remember what you’ve done. Make sure your resume is focused, concise, achievement-oriented and error free.
Tip #5 – Tell Everyone You Know What You’re Looking For
Most people who land new opportunities do so through people they know. Make a list of everyone you know – colleagues, friends, relatives, fellow members of professional organizations, people you used to work with, vendors, etc. – and then contact them to let them know you’re looking, and exactly what you’re looking for. You never know who might know someone who is looking for someone like you!!
OK. That should get you started. Next time I’ll have some more tips for putting your plan into action.