Job hunting can be a frazzling experience, but it need not be so with a planned approach.
There are so many different aspects: Your resumé, job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, networking online, person-to-person networking, telephone calling...it can be overwhelming.
And the worst part is that you never know what is the single thing that will make the difference in the job hunt.
While the goal of a job hunt is clear – to get a great job doing what you want to do– it’s how to divide your time that is difficult.
Every job hunt is different because every person is different. But there are some priorities that are important to ensure your success.
Using the list is simple, each day start at the top of the list. If there is something you can do for that item on the list, then do it. If not, go to the next item on the list.
Maintain mental health. If you have serious emotional issues, consult your family physician. While it is typical to feel anxious about finding a job, the anxiety can become debilitating and self-defeating. Some of the danger signs to watch for are if you are constantly angry, critical about people around you, sitting in front of the television, playing video games, randomly cruising the internet, or unable to concentrate for long periods. If you have any of these signs, get help today. Looking for a job requires you to be calm, focused, positive, and pleasant to all around you.
Exercise daily for 30 minutes. When you are physically healthy and active it stimulates the brain and gives you unlimited energy. An exercise program will release endorphins into your brain that allow you to concentrate while not exercising. It may seem you are wasting valuable time that could be spent in the job hunt, but this is untrue. A reasonable exercise program will allow you time to reflect on what you are doing during your job hunt. A simple and effective exercise program that provides immediate results is a brisk 30- minute walk, one that will raise your heartbeat to 60 per cent of your maximum heart rate. This measure depends on your starting fitness and your age. About.com has a fitness calculator which you can find at http://exercise.about.com/cs/fitnesstools/l/bl_THR.htm The page includes information about heart beat zones and other good stuff. Always consult with your family physician before starting an exercise program. I started with a walking program and now I run marathons (very badly). More on my thoughts about marathon running can be read at Marathon Running Is A Metaphor For Success.
Maintain your relationships. Job hunting, depending on your personal circumstances, can consume you. It’s important that during this stressful time that you maintain your important relationships with family and close friends. Don’t let the job hunt overwhelm you and be the only topic of conversation. Spend time with your friends and family. A long walk or hike, playing cards, a board game, or a home-cooked dinner is all that is necessary to stimulate conversation and maintain connections.
Have a positive mental attitude (PMA). I know it gets tough. Some days it seems like nobody wants to talk to you, there are absolutely no jobs available, and every company you want to work for is going out of busi-ness. But the reality is that every day new companies are starting up, companies are taking over other companies, people are retiring, people are quitting, peo-ple are moving. Each of these creates new job opportunities for you. Your job is to keep at it and to keep working at it. You must become better and better at every one of the skills you need for finding a job. PMA sounds simple and seems to fly in the face of “You have to be realistic”. But PMA is all about being realistic. Somebody who believes in a positive mental attitude is choosing to select a positive outcome from any number of possible outcomes.
Read your goals every day. Having clear goals in life gives you a significant advantage. Dreams are not goals. Goals are measurable, tangible, and have a date. Saying, “One day I will take the family to Disneyland,” is not a goal. Saying. “In August 2011, I am taking the family to Disneyland,” is a clear goal. I believe you should have goals in five different areas, Health, Relationships, Financial Stability, Giving Back and Personal Growth. The goals must be personal, positive, and in the present. Read all your goals out loud. This simple act does two things in your subconscious mind. It creates cognitive dissonance between the reality and the goal, and secondly, it tells the reticular activating system to stop ignoring things that you need to help you. Once you get hooked on goals, you see them everywhere. I loved the movie Up because I believe it’s all about setting goals.
Finish three tasks in your job hunt plan. A task is an activity that moves you closer to one of your goals. Tasks are not the things you need to do each day, such as brushing your teeth. Tasks are individual work items that are part of your plan that move you closer to your goal. If you don’t have a plan, consider using Goals, Objectives, Strategy, Priorities and Actions (GOSPA) to create your plan.
Do something that will market you. Use the same picture on your LinkedIn profile as you do on Facebook as you have in your white papers. It takes seven times for somebody to see a message and for it to register. If every time you send a different message, then you are defeating yourself.
Make some choices. It’s important that you have a variety of different job hunt methods. As a job hunter you should have many different tactics in play. Choose the correct tactic for each and every job opportunity or target company. Select a tactic for meeting the hiring authority, select one for getting your cover letter read, select one for getting your resumé in front of the person. There are many different tactics for head hunters, for job fairs, and for answering newspaper advertisements. Don’t limit yourself. To get you started in understanding the width and breadth available to you, I have created 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips. You can find them at 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips.
Track the effectiveness of everything you do. To track the effectiveness of your job hunt, you need to measure what you have done and how well it helped you reach your goals. The job hunt tactics you select will depend on what you measure. For example, let’s say one of your tactics is to get face-to-face meetings with key executives in your city. Therefore, you would need to track, the total number of executives, how many you go into contact with, how many spoke with you on the phone, and how many you were able to setup a face to face meeting with. At the beginning of anything new, it takes time to practise and get good at it. Don’t expect a 100 per cent success rate. The first 100 calls might get you nowhere. The second 100 calls might get you five meetings. When you track each step in the process, you can see if you are improving in the step, and if you are not, you can do some research on what are the best practices are for that step.
Spend eight hours each day on the job hunt. Unfortunately, many people don’t spend the time necessary on the job hunt. And many times they fool themselves into thinking they are working on the job hunt. Working on a job hunt is about working towards your goals. Having coffee with buddies does not count, cruising job boards doesn’t count, and doing your daily exercise does not count. Only the hours working on the specifics of the job hunt count. There is no teacher watching you, you need to be honest with yourself. If you don’t know what to do, implement another tactic from the 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips.
– ZALE TABAKMAN
• Note: I appreciate all the thanks and compliments I receive on these job hunting tips. You can send me them to me directly. If you would like to share you comments and insights with others, this article is posted at http://www.zaletabakman.ca/2009/07/07/the-top-10-priorities-for-job-hunters. Comments on websites are a great way of marketing your-self on the Internet. To receive articles from me directly, write to JobHuntingTips@ZaleTabakman.com.Visit www.ZaleTabakman.ca – hundreds of articles on getting a job or alternatives. Go to www.LinkedIn.com/in/ZaleTabakman – an invite to me gives you 2,700,000 connections!