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When Your Job is Finding A New Job

Posted on: July 1st, 2009 by Christine Kent

Hi Everyone,

It’s to be expected in my line of work that many of the people I talk to every day are between jobs. Being unemployed can be an uncertain time, when things just don’t seem to make sense. The rug has been pulled out from under you and it feels as though you will never catch a break. You start to think things like, “No one will ever want to hire me,” or “Everyone has career connections but me.” Hopelessness can set it and it can be hard to know what to do and where to turn. A few years ago, I was in a similar situation. I had been downsized and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was new to the west coast and I didn’t know many people in town. I reached out to a recruiter I had met briefly at an industry gathering and explained my situation to her. I concluded my woeful tale by saying, “So, now I don’t have a job.” Her reply to me was “Yes you do. Your job now is to find a job. I never forgot that statement. What she said was absolutely true! Now that I didn’t have a job, I had to find a job…and that in itself was a job! I had always given 100% of myself in the workplace and now I needed to give that same effort toward finding a new job! Truly, my new job was now finding a job!

From that moment on, I decided to treat my job search like a full-time job. I got up every morning with a game plan and plotted a course toward uncovering job leads and meeting new people. I was driven toward the singular goal of finding gainful employment. As reward for my efforts, I did find a job within a relatively short period of time! Treating my job search as ajob, was the key toward organizing and focusing in on a new job. In fact, this advice was so effective for me, that over the years, I have shared it with many of my career coaching clients and it has helped many of them to find jobs faster and reach their goals!

Ok, great, but where do you start? I thought you would never ask! Below are some tips that will help you in your new job of finding a job:

Have A Plan – This one will take a little bit of thought, but you need to know where you’re going. Ask yourself if your career was on the right track. If it was, then think about ways to keep the momentum going forward and on course. If, however, your career had taken a turn along the way and it was off-course with your goals, then think about how to get things back on track. Figure out where you want to go and then brainstorm on ways you can get there. Journaling is always a great help with this step. Write down your thoughts, and any ideas you have about next steps toward your desired future. You have to know where you want to go, before you can chart a course to get there!

Take Time For Research – Focusing in on a new job is easier, if you know where you want to work. So do your research. Ask questions of people in your network and find out the best places to work. Consider things like room for growth, workplace culture, location, and employer reputation. If you don’t know someone who has worked at a prospective employer, then ask around to see if someone you know, knows someone who works there or has worked there in the past. Chances are once you start asking questions, you will find someone around you who has the answers. If you were working on a project for an employer you would do research, right? So now that your job is finding a job, research is still very much needed!

Rise And Shine – Get up every morning just like you would it you were going to work. You actually are going to work, but now your job is finding a job, so get up and get ready. Don’t sit around in your pj’s all morning wondering what the day will bring. Instead, start each day with a plan and be sure you stick to the plan. Make a list of daily goals and do everything in your power to achieve them. Make some of the goals short term…things that can be achieved in one day. Also, make some of your goals more elaborate and map out what part of them you will finish by the end of the day. Map out what you will do, who you will see, and all actions you will take on your job search that day. Not only will it help you to get things done, but it will also make you aware of the progress you are making toward your goal.

Set Up Meetings – Yes, that’s right… meet with people! Reach out to friends and former colleagues and ask them to meet you for coffee or make a date to go for a run. You should always be busy connecting and reconnecting with people. Ask everyone you know who they know that they can introduce you to. Always set aside time for outreach, in your new job of finding a job. Its important to put yourself out there and stay connected.

FOLLOW THROUGH AND FOLLOW UP! – Just what it says…be sure to follow through and follow up. One of the biggest mistakes I see job-seekers make is that they don’t follow through. If you connect with someone, be sure to follow up with them a week or so later. Reach out again, touch base and stay connected. Don’t leave the burden of staying in contact with the other person. Instead, you control the contact and keep the momentum going. If you think you’ll forget to follow up, then put a reminder in your calendar to keep you on track. Your new job of finding a job is reliant on your ability to follow up and stay in touch with the people you’ve brought into your network. Proper follow through will make or break a job search. Be sure you are always on the job and always staying in touch with your network!

The important thing to remember is that you are never without a job. When you lose your job, be engaged in the job of finding a job. Treating your job search as a job will help you stay on top of your job search and help bring your job of finding a job to a short and successful conclusion.

Until next time…stay tuned!

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You Asked We Answered

Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

Answer: Yes, taking a job, sometimes any job particularly if you have not worked in a while is good not only for your paycheck but for your mental health as you search for the job you really want. There is no shame in accepting work for honest pay. You are in transition and you need to remind yourself of that and not feel bad if the job you have now or are considering isn't willing to pay you what you are worth. There will be a job out there that will and you need to use all of your resources available including interim work to realize your goals. Taking a low paying job in the meantime may bruise your ego but it won't kill your pride or your wallet.