A New Year -- A New Start in Your Job Search
For those in an active search for a new job, a new year can be refreshing. Or it could be more of the same. It is up to you.
I've read many of the comments my past articles have prompted. Many job seekers are frustrated or upset with the process, the advice, and the results. I can't say I blame them. It is a tough process. And one we don't necessarily want to become an expert at through repetitive practice.
Unfortunately a long job search can lead to a bad attitude about the search itself. And then, you're in a downward spiral as the bad attitude can dictate a poor performance.
So how does one break out of the viscous circle?
You must try something different. You must begin with a positive attitude and see the new year as a fresh start.
I'm sure you've heard a lot of this before. But ultimately, you control more of your destiny than you might think. You have to be the one to make something good happen.
Here are some things to think about as you progress your search in 2011.
Consider first what worked for you in 2010. What sources led to job interviews? What parts of your network led to warm leads for jobs? What efforts led to nowhere? Take inventory of your tactics and put more time into the effective ones. Also, consider new tactics you're not sure about.
Know that 2011 is already looking better than 2010 in the employment world and your chances for success may increase with the right motivation. To be actively motivated means setting goals for yourself (how many hours of each activity should you plan for?) It also means, no looking back. Learn from the past, but then move on.
Not only focus on the tactics that work, but make your job search laser-tuned to the jobs where you have more than 75% of the qualifications. With so many applicants, you are wasting your time (and potentially damaging your reputation) by applying to any job you see as a remote match.
Resumes and Interviews
Have you asked friends or colleagues to critique your resume? Have you had mock interviews to see how you present yourself? You might be surprised to find you come off as "too confident." Or that your resume does not adequately showcase your strengths. I've read some crazy comments about "only pretty people getting the job." Appearance does count, but mainly in how you present yourself -- your interview attire, your demeanor, your attitude, and your preparation count a lot more than you might think.
Lastly, be honest with yourself when it comes to dedication. How much time are you putting into the search? A job search can be a full time job. Certainly it must take a high priority over time-consuming hobbies. Build a plan by outlining resources to research and key people to contact. And create a schedule, too. If you get discouraged, share your concerns with a few trusted friends who can offer good advice.
I know it's tough. Many folks with careers longer than 20 years have been through it, or have a significant other who has. Setting expectations that it will be a longer process than we'd like may help to keep you in check. Remember, a creative strategy, tenacity, and proper attitude are all critical to having a productive job search in 2011.
I wish you the best of luck.