I once read that finding new work - the "correct" one - can take up to 500 hours on average, but that most individuals give trying after 40-50 hours. What causes these latter individuals to lose sight of their goals? One of the main reasons, in my opinion, is that they do not have a clear plan in place to assist them to stay focused and motivated. So, based on how some of my clients have successfully completed their job searches, here are a few pointers.
1) Make it obvious why you're looking for new employment
Do you feel compelled to leave your current position as soon as possible? Is it time to take the next logical step in your career, and only the "perfect job" will suffice? It's simpler to stay focused and remember why you're choosing to spend part of your free time on the job searches if you know what's motivating your job hunt.
2) Know exactly what you're looking for
Even if you want out, and ideally yesterday, it's critical that you know WHAT you're searching for; otherwise, you'll end yourself doing what's known as "spraying and praying" - sending your CV to anyone and everyone in the hopes that someone would respond with the perfect job offer. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that it almost never works that way. Employers prefer employees who are focused and targeted, who know what they want - or appear to know what they want. To determine the industry(s) you are interested in, as well as the types of employment you are interested in and qualified for. And make that your primary emphasis as you begin your quest.
This may seem restrictive to some, but it doesn't have to be. A word of caution: don't start from the position of thinking that what you don't want is fine. Not wanting some things isn't a goal, and it won't help you concentrate.
3) Be aware of your abilities, skills, and references to the fact
Knowing what you want is crucial, but knowing what you can offer a potential employer is even more important. The majority of people leave this to the interview process, which may be too late. You'll need to know this for your cover letters and any potential talks you have with recruiters or others who can help you connect with the proper folks.
Most of you could probably tell me what you're not good at without much thought. I strongly advise you to shift your perspectives in this area. Focus on what you are strong at, how you have added value to your past employers, and what you like doing between now and when you acquire your next job (and preferably after that as well). Identifying somebody you could ask to speak to your strengths when someone asks for a reference is also crucial.
4) Make a list of your "tools"
So you've determined what you're looking for and what you have to offer. Now is the time to prepare your "tools" for the job searches. Find the most recent version of your CV and add your most recent jobs to it. Make sure your CV emphasizes how you brought value to your past companies rather than just listing your tasks. Instead of writing responsible for monthly meetings,' write 'organized the agenda and effectively ran monthly meetings for the department of 14 people, resulting in increased communication within the team,' or whatever better describes what you did and the impact it had on the organization you worked in.
At this point, some folks may be tempted to compose a master cover letter as well. I'd like a trial copy, but I'd fight the urge to send out a standard one. Employers want to know that you are interested in them directly, so personalize your cover letters as much as possible.
5) Conduct preliminary research
The initial research to find out what's out there and where to discover the jobs you're looking for in the industry you're interested in is a portion of job seeking that most people overlook. According to estimates, 66-75 percent of jobs in London are unadvertised! So, where do you look for them? By having discussions.
These discussions are referred to as "informational interviews." Basically, it's about locating people in the sector who can answer your questions about the job and how most people go about seeking work in that field. It's also a wonderful method to present your strengths, so even if the person you speak with doesn't have any job openings, if they like what they hear and a colleague of theirs says they're looking for someone, your name might be mentioned.
This form of networking is quite beneficial during job searches because it allows you to develop the contacts you'll need for actual employment. It also aids in the development of your field expertise in preparation for future interviews.
6) Decide on your favorite ways of job hunting
There are a variety of job search options to choose from, in addition to chats. The majority of people rely on the internet, newspaper ads, or recruiting agencies to find work. While I know folks who have had success with these strategies, they are not necessarily the most efficient. It's worthwhile to look through business periodicals and websites, as well as speak with people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people who know people this is a lot more likely method of obtaining what you seek.
According to "What Color is Your Parachute" (the job hunter's bible), it's advisable to pick only two or three tactics to employ in your job searches. This keeps you focused and prevents you from spreading yourself too thin or putting all your eggs in one basket.
7) Determine how much time you want to devote each week
Job hunting can easily become a full-time occupation. 'Finding time' is a phrase that most people use. It can't be found, but it can be made,' in my experience. I advise customers (whether working or job-hunting full-time) to set aside a certain number of hours each week for job looking and to schedule this time in their calendars. 'Meeting myself for job hunting purposes,' as one of my clients put it. In my experience, if you don't write it down, you won't take it seriously and it'll be unlikely to happen.
8) Make weekly goals for yourself
I recommend that you create numerical targets for each week in addition to defining how much time you will spend each week and when. After all, how can you gauge the success of job searches? How do you know when you've completed your task? Having goals that we can achieve is far more motivating. Yes, getting a job is your ultimate aim, but it's not one you can actually manage. You want your objectives to be fully reliant on you putting in the effort. Set goals like writing 5 applications, visiting 10 websites, and speaking with X, Y, and Z. This will assist you to be a lot more clear about what you're doing, as well as prevent wasting hours on the internet with little to show for it!
9) Put your interviewing skills to the test
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for an interview. It's enough to download a list of the "most common interview questions," read over them, and consider how you might respond. Begin to feel at ease answering any type of question, as the interview will inevitably come up, and that interview will determine whether or not you get the job.
10) Enlist the assistance of those who are close to you
The majority of us believe we must accomplish things on our own, and we aren't particularly good at asking for help. Despite this, most successful people claim that hard effort and exploiting resources (such as people) around them are the keys to their success. The people in your life could help you in a variety of ways. For example, they can provide general support, they may have valuable contacts you didn't know about, or they might provide an extra set of eyes to look at positions that match what you're searching for.