Spring is a symbolic time for rejuvenation, especially after such a grueling winter. And although warmer weather is a welcome change, it requires an incredible amount of preparation. Switching out bulky holiday sweaters for t-shirts and the snowplow for the weed wacker are just a few items on the long “To Do” list. The results leave you with an unbeatable feeling of satisfaction, but every year, the process is inevitably halted by the same idiosyncrasies – no one can find the “shorts bin” with the broken lid and the power washer is still acting finicky. While we go through that same tired routine to achieve a warm-weather-friendly household, many of us fail to streamline the process to avoid those organizational errors.
Spring cleaning reminds me of job search preparation in the sense that most people go through the motions year after year without setting outcomes. Along with dusting off last year’s beach attire and dealing with endless yard work, spring offers the opportunity to shed old layers (and I’m not just talking about our winter parkas). Why not try a whole new approach to job searching that’ll clean up toxic unknowns and get rid of bad habits. Instead of adhering to the same process, it’s time that you build a job search that will result in a sustainable career – one that you can maintain and evolve rather than rebuild each time winter arrives (or, for the sake of our metaphor, job loss).
ORGANIZE YOUR JOB SEARCH
Are you employer-ready? 99% of candidates aren’t.
Think Differently. Every time someone mentions the term “job search,” I’m willing to bet that a slue of negative thoughts invade your mind. But those feelings of vulnerability and confusion are often what sabotage a candidate’s chances. By approaching your future with an optimistic mindset, you build the framework for a more empowered belief system and set yourself up for success. We know it’s not a common tip, but I can’t emphasize enough how crucial this first step really is. So before you organize your job search, you first need to organize your thoughts.
Decide What You’re Looking For. And be specific! Take a good look at where you are in your career journey and decide what that next role is – I’m referring to the position that’ll bring you to the next level of your professional development, not just a paycheck. Rather than taking the same job again and again, expand your horizons and choose a position that will allow you to stretch your talent muscles. If you have a couple jobs in mind, be sure to cater your resume and cover letter to each specific role and company. Lastly, while it’s crucial to stick to your desired field for consistency purposes, it’s also important to try new industries and company cultures to diversify your experience.
Take A Scientific Approach. Still unsure what your best-fit job looks like? You aren’t alone. In fact, you’re in the majority – 70% of the American workers are disengaged and hate their jobs, according to Gallup. Clearly, those people aren’t in the right fields or industries. Don’t fall for the old lie that you can’t find work you love. Career Assessments are great tools for measuring a person’s individual work behaviors, motivators, and communication styles. And believe me, crossing things off your “job search wish list” is just as powerful as putting things on.
Stop Searching For Job Search Stability. You can’t rely on an employer to give you job stability – only you hold the power to build a sustainable career. The more strategic you are with your job selections and professional development, the more competitive you become to employers.
Record Everything. List all your contacts on a spreadsheet, take note of every professional networking interaction, and don’t lose track of companies you’ve researched and job openings you’ve applied for. Doing your homework and having it readily available when an employer calls will boost your preparation and give you a better chance at making a great first impression.
Believe it or not, we haven’t even scratched the surface of job search organization. To get the full picture, join us for our FREE Webinar: Spring Clean Your Job Search. We’ll be sharing some great tools for managing responsibilities, keeping on task, and holding yourself accountable. Our webinar is designed to ensure that when you receive that magic phone call, you’ll be ready to nail it.