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Are You Ready For a "Job Search"?

The phrase “job search” can create a range of emotions in each of us from excitement to fear.  The excitement of a job search, of course, comes from the potential for a new opportunity and the fact that we are pursing the change.  The fear of a job search, unfortunately, comes from the unknown – a lack of preparation and our feeling that we are not in control of the change.

We constantly read about companies helping employees feel the fear of being in a job search when they downsize and lay off large numbers of their employees.  Then, we see the market become saturated with hundreds of people with similar skills looking and fighting for those few good jobs.  If you’ve been receiving this newsletter for long, you know that at activ:8 career coaching, we help you activ8 your career to not only stand out in a crowd but stand out from the crowd when you’re in a job search.  We’ve all heard person after person tell story after story about those individuals in the throws of a layoff or the impending doom of one.  For example, there’s Tina, who was blindsided by her layoff and was completely unprepared. Or Dave, who knew about the upcoming layoff for several months but just waited for the axe to fall.  What could these individuals have been doing to be more prepared for what happened?  What can you do?

Since we all know that anything can happen at any time, the following are several ways to ready yourself for a job search as well as guide yourself through interaction with others when in a job search.

Job Search Readiness #1 – Understand yourself.  What affects you in the workplace?  Are you able to influence positive change or desired outcomes in the workplace?  What kind of culture fits you best?  Not just the industry you like or have experience in, but the environment or culture that fits the way you work?  Where do you have passion, and what gives you energy?  Remember, your energy and passion may not necessarily be those things that you always do well.  You can do them, but you just don’t get energy from them.  Knowing what environment makes you successful, happy and productive is the first step.

Job Search Readiness #2 – Have a quick, value-added profile for yourself and be able to say it in your own words.  Keep resume jargon out of this profile.  In your profile, relay confidence in your qualifications, and use enthusiasm to touch the emotions of those you contact.  We all know that first impressions are lasting, so be sure you make a positive, lasting impression on each individual you contact in your job search.

Job Search Readiness #3 – Have a target and an obtainable career path.  You may want to narrow your career path to start with just two targets.  What industry would use your how-to abilities best?  Where could your talents be utilized most successfully?  Keep in mind that all positions are not created equal.  Analyze each position for what it can bring to you in job satisfaction and challenge as well as salary requirements.

Job Search Readiness #4 – Have a marketing strategy and a focus.  Even if you’re not in an active job search, network and fact find with industry professionals.  Find out what talents and knowledge they believe are necessary for success in their industry, any trends they see coming up, where they see potential for growth and who they know that you should meet.

Job Search Readiness #5 – Be able to articulate value to an interviewer or potential interviewer and steer clear of resume jargon.  Rely on the factors or strengths that make you successful.  Can you describe your true value to an interviewer and why you could bring about success to their organization?  How do you outline how you work?  How does the value you bring and how you work make you successful?  What kinds of things do you do that always result in success?  Position yourself as a valuable contributor.

While a job search doesn’t always happen in our timing, you can now stay ready to move through a job search that may come your way.  If you are consistently developing, learning and thinking about where you fit and how you contribute, you’ll stay grounded in your contribution – which will make you more resilient to unforeseen change.

While a job search doesn’t always happen in our timing, you can now stay ready to move through a job search that may come your way.  If you are consistently developing, learning and thinking about where you fit and how you contribute, you’ll stay grounded in your contribution – which will make you more resilient to unforeseen change.