Successful job searching takes a lot of time! Don't kid yourself otherwise.
Jun 21, 2013, 10:02am EDT Updated: Jun 21, 2013, 10:28am EDT
Houston Business Journal
After mentoring and hiring hundreds of job seekers, the number one surprise response I get when I give advice on job search process is, “Wow, this takes so much time!” I’m even more concerned by the proclamation that, “I don’t have the time to put into this.”
I’m convinced there is a binary categorization of job seekers today: those who are committed and those who are hobbyists. Which one are you?
The committed job seeker (both the employee searching internally in his or her own company and the person looking at new companies) is willing to block out the appropriate amount of time, put in the hard labor required, and perform at the highest-quality level. Every written and spoken word and every action is thought through, checked and re-checked, and meets the highest standards possible.
Here are the entry-level criteria to be considered committed:
- Articulate your job goal, in writing, and state it clearly to your network.
- Build your job search tools such as a tracking spreadsheet and use your personal productivity technology to manage follow-up.
- Prepare your sales approach; how you will position yourself to hiring managers, what your value is to them, and how you will present yourself.
- Research positions, companies, industries, interview answers, and more.
- Network with precision follow-up; build two-way relationships for the long term.
The hobbyist job seeker cuts corners, believes he or she is entitled to get a job, and tends to be the victim of others’ inadequacies. His or her work is sloppy, riddled with errors, and ordinary. The hobbyist’s excuses range from, “There is no point in doing all this research.” to “Why waste time on process when I should just be sending out my résumé?”
And, unfortunately, here are the symptoms of being a hobbyist:
- “I’ve been applying to multiple jobs but have gotten no interviews.” or “There are no jobs out there.”
- “I updated my résumé and added the right keywords. That should be enough.”
- Spend 1-5 hours per week on your job search, thinking that’s enough.
- Secure some phone interviews but not getting in any face-to-face interviews.
- No organized process behind your job search. Yellow sticky notes, doodles on pieces of paper.
- R.A.A. – Random Acts of Application – applying to the wrong positions based on your background and not having a clear position goal.
How do you move into the committed category? 3 Steps:
- Re-boot your entire job search process from beginning to end. One way is to use the end-to-end Cut the Crap, Get a Job! process I’ve outlined in my book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era.
- Stop applying and start being smart and strategic first. Execute second.
- Accept the fact that the investment at the beginning of your job search will result in a speedier and better quality outcome – and a better job!
I have created some great tools for you to manage your job search in an organized way at http://danamanciagli.com.
There are hundreds of great books and websites available for a super low investment or free. Are you investing in one of the single most important aspects of your life … your career and income? Do something different today. Staying current with your local business journal's insights is a great start.
Dana Manciagli is a career expert and 30-year-plus veteran Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive, recently retired after a decade’s tenure at Microsoft. She is the author of “Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era.” She sits on the worldwide board of Junior Achievement and has her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.