A job search can be a joyful and exhilarating process. A job search can be an annoying and exhausting process. Which statement do you identify most with? Most people would say, “It depends.” One emotion that is dominant during a transition is one of urgency. Here are three simple ideas to simplify and successfully manage your search.
1. Pay attention to how you start.
Treat your job search as a process NOT an event.
- Thoughtful reflection. What is your “ideal” job? Specifically, list and prioritize your top five criteria and support these with examples. Can you clearly explain to someone why these criteria are important to you? Use your transition time to review your work values, interests, skills in relation to past experience and future possibilities. What was right in the past might not necessarily be right today! Priorities do change with circumstances.
- Critical Analysis. Recognize that hiring does take place even in a tight job market and that employers hire when they are convinced why you can do the job. Conduct in-depth research and analyze position requirements carefully to assess how you can meet employer needs BEFORE you develop your marketing materials and job search strategy.
2. Pay attention to your marketing plan.
Craft your marketing plan AFTER completing a thorough self-assessment.
- Value-Add Marketing Materials. Craft your written and spoken communication based on performance and results, NOT tasks. Use the “so what” test to convince and build confidence in an employer by giving them insight into how your role made a key difference to a business problem.
- Winning Outcomes: What is the best way to look for a job? With the many choices available, first, create your target list of choice employers and geographic preferences before planning your search strategy. Why apply for a job in Phoenix, Arizona if you never plan to move there? Decide how and where you want to expend most of your creative energy for the best results. You want momentum which you get when you get off the rocking horse.
- Build Your Network: Employee referrals continue to be the number one source for hiring. Networking with people is NOT about asking people for a job; rather, it is the process of building alliances. A process that begins much before you need to look for a position and it is a process that you cultivate as a lifetime habit. Who are your networks? Think of giving back to get help. Create visibility and build credibility by sharing resources and skills to generate opportunities to market your skills.
3. Pay attention to your “whole” being.
Anxiety, turmoil and loss of confidence are sometimes built into the job search process because you feel vulnerable. It does seem that someone who does not know your and your skills well is judging your worth based on a few conversations. Calm the “storm” when the going is rough with two simple ideas.
- Maintain Focus. Remember transitions are temporary. Remember your preparation. Surround yourself with trusted advisors. Re-assess and re-evaluate. Exercise.
- Assess Your Energy. Recognize that you will have good and bad days in your search. Avoid second-guessing and self-criticism. Remember you are not being rejected; rather your skills might not be the “right fit” for that opportunity. Use all opportunities to get feedback on how effectively you have included self-assessment, research and marketing into your strategy.
- A job search can be a joyful process. A job search can be an annoying and exhausting process. Both statements are true. You make the choice.
Related reading: 6 Clever Ways to Improve Your Job Search Tactics.