So you are out of work and are frustrated with your lack of progress. How frustrated? Well you stopped really looking on a full-time basis last year and told anyone who would listen that no one was hiring in December anyhow; you’d start fresh in January. Well it’s now January, and we’re actually already four days in.
Yes the second best time to look for work is right now. The best time to look for work was when you stopped going at – whenever that was; but that time is past so no point beating yourself up over that now. The key is right now; here today, at this moment. I don’t think it can be put any plainer that this; “Get going!”
The first thing you need to do is evaluate where you are in the job search in order to change the outcome of your 2016 job search vs. what you’ve done in the past. After all, if you go about your job search in the same way you went about it last year, your odds are likely to be about the same of ultimately being successful – and you weren’t were you? Hmmm…
In other words, if you’re using the same resume and it didn’t work last year, it likely won’t work this year. If you haven’t practiced and improved your interviewing skills, you are likely going to be eliminated from future competitions at that point just like last year. If you are still going about job searching by mass distributing your resume – well, that didn’t work last year so it’s not likely to work this year. Quite frankly, if you haven’t determined what it is you really want to do work-wise in 2016, you’re likely just as confused or desperate to do, ‘anything’ as you were in 2015; and ‘anything’ has yet to be found on a job board.
The best thing about undertaking any activity in the early days of a new year; in this case 2016 is the fresh start. This mental view of starting all over with a fresh new start erases all the failures and frustrations of the past year. If you plan on making significant progress over last year’s dismal failure, you usually need to make significant changes in your approach. After all, it’s not very likely that pounding away doing the same thing will result in positive changes. No, you need a different approach to the situation at hand.
First of all, evaluate if you’ve targeted a specific job; two at the very most, or are you looking for any old job. If you are looking for any old job, stop please. Do some self-assessments under the watchful support of a professional who can help you figure out what you really want. After you figure this out, by all means start a focused job search.
If you know what you want to do, find out how competitive you really are with your current skills and experience. No point going forward and applying for jobs you are underqualified for is there? This is just going to result in a lot of rejection. You need to talk to people in that industry or field and find out how you stack up. Listen to them and take their advice. If you need upgrading, go get it. If you have the skills and experience, let’s move ahead!
Now if you know what you want and you’re qualified and can compete on a level playing field, the next thing to do is see how you are marketing yourself. Here you need some objective feedback on your cover letter and resume. Do these two documents brand and market your abilities in such a way that you appeal to employers? Do you solve a problem for them, or are your resume and cover letter solely about you and what you want?
Marketing and branding yourself to appeal to employers on paper is one thing; doing it in person another. So, how are your interpersonal skills? How’s the self-confidence, the clothing, smile, handshake, listening and speaking skills? Yes of course you should be hired based on your skills and experience; but if you think that you won’t be judged or assessed based on your personal presentation skills, you’re sadly mistaken. If you need some dental work, get it done. If you’ve neglected your personal grooming and need a bit of a personal makeover, get it done. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and you’ll act differently too.
It would be a wise thing to look into some self-improvement classes and if there is a cost involved, think of it like an investment in yourself; you have to spend money to make money. In other words, it’s 2016 and you’ve got to look it. The clothes you wear might need some freshening up – maybe you got just what you needed for Christmas? If not, find a sale or two and take someone with some fashion sense with you; not your similarly unemployed best friend or mom. We’re talking change here.
Look if you’re going to erase the mistakes and plunders of 2015, don’t start the year by wiping the slate clean and then set out to make the identical plunders. This is your big chance to put some changes in place so that you get the results we both want for you in 2016. What changes are you making?