Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking for a Job – Start at the Beginning

It's the beginning of a brand new year.  And it's also the beginning of a job search for many who will vow to
find a new job in the new year.  To succeed, my advice . . . Begin at the beginning.

The new year is a time for beginnings.  High among the resolutions of New-Years-Resolution-Makers will be to lose weight, to get in shape, and . . . . . to get a new job.     All of these, and more, are worthy goals.  However, most of the resolution-makers lose traction by the second month of the year and the goals go largely UN-achieved.

How do you achieve a different outcome and actually achieve your New Year's Resolutions?  My advice:  "Begin at the beginning!"

As you resolve to make a change in the new year, recognize that you are setting a goal.  To achieve the goal will require following a process. You are embarking on a project and your best shot at success is to understand the process.

Understand the process
Finding a job is a project that requires following a multi-step process.  It requires devoting some time to learning the steps, including planning, creating marketing materials, and implementing your search.

However, many job seekers will want to short-cut the job seeking process  --   jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!  And, many who do will be back on the market for another new job in a short time.  Understand that the shortest distance between where they are now and their next position is to follow a process.  It may not seem like it, but it truly is the quickest route to the next job or role.

Begin at the beginning
I often liken the search for a new position to taking a trip.  If the traveler is located in Maine and their destination is the mid-west, they don’t start mid-way between the two locations.  They start in Maine.  They begin at the beginning!

They begin by preparing for the trip.  They plan their strategy for traveling to the mid-west.
  • As they do their research, they key in on more specific destinations such as Kansas or Missouri based on their needs and desires.  
  • They prepare their route.  
  • They learn what things - tools - they will need for the trip and go about preparing and acquiring them.  They practice using these materials, such as GPSs, phones, camping equipment, in a safe environment before they venture out on the road.  
  • They anticipate obstacles along the way and strategize ways they’ll overcome them.  
When they finally set out on the road, they are well-prepared and practiced travelers and are almost assuredly going to arrive successfully at their destination.

Prepare for your job search
Preparing yourself for your job search is not really any different!  As with preparing for a trip or journey, preparing for and conducting a job search requires the same attention to strategy, planning, preparation, practice, and delivery.

Figuring out . . . . . . .
  • 1)  What your destination likely looks like - what type of work you want to do.   
    • Be specific.
  • 2)  What capabilities you bring as well as need to develop or acquire --  your skills, knowledge, experience, talent, capabilities, strengths.  
    • Identify them and make a list.
  • 3)  What supportive materials  you will need  --  marketing materials in addition to a strategic resume.
    •   Prepare in advance your resume, marketing plan, personal-professional business card, networking plan, portfolio of materials showing work experience and achievements.
  • 4)  How you will travel to your destination --  how you will implement your search.  
    • Devise a project plan with target points showing what you need to with daily To-Dos. 
. . . . . . . are all part of adequately preparing for your journey to your next position.

Savvy job seekers begin at the beginning.  With planning, preparation, and practice, they embark on their journey with a kind of confidence that only comes from good planning, preparation, and practice.  They put themselves in the position of appearing confident, knowledgeable, and a solution to the needs of potential employers.

Get a better job faster
So, begin at the beginning.  You’ll arrive faster at the destination --  or job  --  of your choosing.  In other words, you up your odds of getting a better job faster.  It’s your choice!

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
 ____________________________________________________________________________                 AJC - for Your Career Path
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