Job seekers who have been displaced over the past three years know this is true. If you are in a job currently and the writing is on the wall that the industry is changing or you won’t be able to stay there for much longer, you may be faced with this reality also. So, how can you be looking for a job when you have one, without losing your mind and your patience?
Do you have a plan?
One of the final scenes in the movie Pretty Woman has the character Kit asking a potential new roommate “Do you have a plan? Cause you need to have a plan.” This is where people deep in the job hunt can make their first tragic mistake. Having a plan doesn’t mean that you necessarily know exactly where you want to work, or even exactly what field you want to work in, but it does mean that you need to have an idea of your options. Job seekers who are just ‘winging it’ will end up frustrated and spinning their wheels.
Research is the key to establishing your plan. Even though the internet is a good place to start, it isn’t the only place. Consider what skills you have that can be used in different industries. Talk with friends and family members about the fields they are in and see if there is possible synergy with your skills. If your expertise is in a specialized area, find local organizations with events you can network at to learn about possible job opportunities.
Write it down
Once you figure out some companies you want to target and what online websites will be most likely posting jobs in your field, the next step is to make sure you are keeping very detailed notes on each step of the job search process. Get a calendar that can be 100% devoted to the activities you will be doing in your job search. Updating your resume, searching for postings online, emailing contacts, scheduling networking events, and practicing interviews take time to be the best you can be when looking for a job. Write down when and where you will do these on a calendar to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Consistency does not mean repetition
Searching online can be a daunting task depending on the field you are in, or want to be in. Select two days a week to go onto the internet to find jobs, and be consistent with those days. Keep notes on what keywords you use and vary them up between the days so you can critically evaluate whether the positions are a fit for your skills. Challenge yourself to find one new website each week for job postings, networking opportunities, or a new company you hadn’t considered as a target when you started.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
If you haven’t been in the job hunt for awhile, be patient with yourself and the process. Trying to do a marathon sit down session to update your cover letter, resume, portfolio, and then look online for jobs will only result in a huge headache. You didn’t walk into your current or last job and immediately get the whole job done in one day. The same is true for job search – it’s a process that takes time. Take small steps and execute your plan and then you will be totally prepared when you find your next great career opportunity.
- Job-Hunt.org’s 10 Stealth Job Search Tips for the New Year (prweb.com)
- The New Way to Apply and Interview for Jobs (prweb.com)
- How to Derail Your Job Search (money.usnews.com)