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.