Job searching often feels like “dating”. You search through profiles (JD’s) seeking a fit. You reach out and put your heart on the line and…… nothing! Or you have a first date (interview)—get excited and hopeful—thought you clicked—and again crickets! You spend so much time waiting and hoping to get “chosen” and when nothing happens you start to doubt your attractiveness (perceived competence) by hiring managers. It is hard to sustain your confidence and motivation. So what can you do? You can Flip the Process:
- Take time to get clear about what you really want: What are you really good at? What do you love to do? Make a list of your major “achievements” in the jobs you have held. What are your 5 and 10 year goals? What kind of role are you seeking? What kind of organization/company would be a good fit for you? Where do you want to live? How do you want work to fit into your life? What is your career/work motivation? Make a list of the role/roles you are looking for. Research companies and make a list of target companies you would like to work for. This is about being pro-active and seeking out what you want vs “passively responding” to job posts.
- Get support for your search process: Enlist family members, friends, church community, colleagues, a job search support group, a career coach, your professional organization, a fellow job search “buddy”—people who will support you and atleast one person who will hold you accountable for your weekly tasks.
- Structure your time and break tasks into bite sizes: Use mornings to do online research of companies, reach out to connections, set up informational interviews, complete your resume, update your Linkedin Profile, apply for positions, and make a spreadsheet to followup with people and hiring managers etc.
- Network in afternoons and evenings: create your elevator pitch and meet people for coffee and ask for introductions to potential hiring managers, have informational interviews, and be involved in community organizations and professional organizations where you can network. About 85% of jobs are found through connections—don’t get lost in rabbit holes applying online all day!
- Schedule time for exercise and for fun: Build in some time each day for exercising and—take off one day/week to get outside and do something totally different than job seeking. Give your mind a break!
Take some time to find a role and a company where you can make a meaningful contribution—a place where you can thrive. Put yourself in the driver’s seat!