First, let’s acknowledge what a job search feels like. More stress. Overwhelming. Even the words “job search” have a painstaking ring to them. Perhaps we rephrase. Career enhancement. Life upgrade. Taking my career into my own hands. Whatever phrase rings true for you, why not rebrand the process and watch your outlook change.
Maybe you haven’t looked for a new job in years and your resume is outdated. Maybe you’d rather lie in a bed of snakes than answer interview questions your current job that you hate. And worse yet, what if you accept a new job and you end up in a similar situation?
OK whoa. This enough to make you want to quit before you start. There IS a better way.
Recognize that searching for a new job is an investment in YOU. You’re taking a big step to improve your current career situation and more importantly, your LIFE. Landing that amazing gig WILL require time and effort from you.
You’ll may temporarily have to sacrifice some guilty pleasures (what’s a few less happy hours or dinners?). Remember, this is temporary. You’re making a decision to improve the way you spend 40+ of your waking hours each week. Not a bad tradeoff, right?
“Sounds good in theory, Holly but where do I begin?!”, you say. Since you asked…
STEP 1 - Write down your WHY statement.
Why are you looking for a new job? This statement will keep you going when you want to give up. Come back to your “why” often to remind you why you’re doing this.
Questions for clarity (be as honest with yourself as possible):
- How do you currently feel at your job?
How would you rather feel at your job?
What’s not working for you at your current job?
What is it about your current job that doesn’t allow you to live your best life?
STEP 2 - Get organized.
Reserve a specific, set time each day for your search (30 minutes will do). Mark it on your calendar, and COMMIT. Remember this isn’t forever, and the more you put into this search, the the sooner you’ll see results.
Update your resume (need I say more?). Have a friend or coach review your resume for feedback.
Create and refine three lists:
Roles of interest
Companies of interest (list first, then prioritize)
Contacts - existing contacts and contacts you need to make/be introduced to
STEP 3 - Reach Out and Follow Up.
Identify where are your ideal contacts and recruiters are hanging out and GO THERE. I guarantee they’re not gathering in your living room… just sayin’.
Find online groups and attend in-person events. Networking events, LinkedIn (ask friends to make introductions), special interest groups are good places to start.
Meet with existing professional contacts. Let them know you’ve started looking and ask them to keep you in mind for opportunities.
Apply, apply, apply. Applying online can feel like you’re sending your resume into a black hole, but the important part is that you’re building momentum and doing the work.
Put It All Together.
A week’s sample plan may look like this:
- Monday + Tuesday (30 minutes each day) - Update Resume + LinkedIn profile
- Wednesday (30 minutes) - Apply to 2 positions
- Thursday (30 minutes) - Email 2 existing contacts and ask to meet for coffee
- Friday (30 minutes) - Research and sign up for 4 networking events for the month. Engage and comment in online conversations and groups.
Look how much progress can be made in 1 week, 30 minutes a day, in just 2.5 HOURS!
Stay focused on your goal and realize you’re working towards a better life, and a step forward in your career. Remember if you show up consistently and give this search your all, great results will come your way.