Entering a job search, prepare yourself ahead of time for the ups and downs. If you haven’t had to get out and look seriously for work for several years, you will probably find that much has changed in how people look for work, and the length of time it’s going to take to find that next job might be longer than you imagine.
At the core of your job search, your ultimate success will largely depend on your own resolve, self-determination and inner strength. For starters, there are more people looking for employment than ever, and you’ve got two specific groups – seniors and mid-twenties people – that have taken on different characteristics than in the past.
Seniors for one are more fit, more engaged, have life-long skill development, and have changed from the past where they were thought of as being put out to pasture and slowing down to just golf and enjoy retirement. Now they are working longer, enjoy being connected, re-invent themselves, and find purpose and fun in staying in some way engaged in the world of work. Oh sure they aren’t all working full-time and still driving to the top, but they are acting as Consultants, Mentors, hanging out their shingles for the first time as entrepreneurs and keeping their jobs longer, meaning those jobs aren’t opening up for a few more years.
Young people are of two sub-groups; some are traditionally finishing their B.A.’s or highschool, but more and more young people have opted to do their Masters and beyond due to a shortage of employment. They are banking on the fact that with more letters after their names, they’ll have more job possibilities. The result? More students and young people are entering the job market at the same time, and they’ve got recent training and education making them attractive to employers. And of course they are mobile, healthy, energetic, trainable, know technology like no other generation before them, know how to network and want it all now.
So in your job search, you’ve got to get some advantage beyond just raw determination. If you have been employed for years, you’ve got your experience to market yourself with a competitive edge. But deep down, do you have that inner strength tha can carry you through those rough patches when self-doubt creeps in and sets up shop? It’s that inner strength that will help you get up when you think it would be so much easier to just put things off to tomorrow and lie down and take a break. Too many breaks in a row and you’ve got a pattern started that will soon transform from a pattern to a permanent change in behaviour and become the new norm. And that’s dangerous.
So here’s some reminders of what you can and should be doing. Get out and network, pick up the phone and set up some luncheon meetings and some information gathering interviews. Talk with people and let them know about your situation instead of keeping things private. Get your references all arranged.
Get a physical check-up arranged with your Dr. and explain why you want one. If it turns out all is okay, you’ll feel better about your health. If on the other hand your Dr. determines there are any health issues to be aware of, be thankful you’ve got the time now to address them. Setting this yardstick to measure your mental and physical health a few months further down the road will pay off not so much right now but in the future if there is a marked change of any kind.
Scale down some of the expenses that fall outside of necessities. That menu you’ve been used to, those extra car trips that could have been made on the bike or walking will not only keep you from filling up with expensive gas but will help your physical health and clear your head. Cutting down expenses now will mean you can stress about the financial situation less, and give you some measure of control.
Inner strength is a key asset when employers pass you over in preference for other candidates. Saying things like, “It wasn’t meant to be” might be what some others will say, but I think if you really believed this, you’d be admitting somewhat that things are beyond your control and destined. I don’t buy that. You have the power to determine what goes into your job search; the vigor, energy and commitment. Is the decision always totally outside of your control? I don’t buy that. You have an influence on that decision the employer makes for the organization.
Find YOUR inner strength and feed it daily!