Updated: August 2020
Reviving a dead job search is critical for staying in control of your career. Yet many professionals become reactive to their environment once they enter the job search day-to-day. As a result, one’s career hopes and dreams can become derailed. In this post we will share 8 steps for achieving your career goals by supercharging your job search.
Why job search failure can lead to career goal failure
Job search failure can have a major impact on your total career path. It can also cause the job searcher to become paralyzed as a result. I see this all the time in my coaching practice. Job seekers get stuck in an unfruitful job search for months (sometimes years) and decide to stay put instead of really tackling the problem and getting their career back on track. I don’t have to go into detail about what years of feeling unfulfilled or stuck in a job will do to someone but it’s not good! When it comes to achieving your career goals, it’s important that you have a corresponding job search plan that is equally solid. Follow these steps to ensure your job search doesn’t fall flat!
1. Set a clear goal as the foundation for your plan
Goal setting is so important when it comes to career but especially the job search. Without a goal, you will be unsure of what you are going after and find yourself wasting valuable time and losing valuable motivation. A clear goal is one that is tangible and achievable. It has a start, a finish, and a bunch of checkpoints in between that allow you to make progress. Don’t just commit to “finding a new job.” Commit to finding a job as X in X-type of company and with X culture and X career path. Here’s a checklist for figuring out your next career move if you’re at a total loss.
2. Create an actionable plan
Once you have a realistic and achievable goal carved out, it’s time to create your plan for how you will reach it (the checkpoints between start and finish). In the job search, your plan needs to be multi-faceted not just consist of searching online job boards all day. Put your plan on paper and set yourself up for achievement everyday by having visible items ready to be checked off your list. This is my recommendation for getting started in your job search.
3. Leverage best-in-class resources & expertise
Goals are not designed to be easily achievable. Also, in many cases, the ways and approaches used to achieve those goals, vary based on the individual. This means that we require the help of outside resources to really support the journey. If it’s weight loss you’re going for, an encouraging health coach or nutritionist will provide you with the right tools for you. If your goal is landing a new job, you’ll have to tap into resources around best practices for someone like you heading into your target role. If you’re really not sure how to do this, you need to latch onto a career expert who can show you YOUR way. If you’re really not sure about hiring a career coach, here are a few signs it might be time to bite the bullet.
4. Get organized and maintain focus
Once you know your goal and have the tools, you’ll need to maintain focus so you don’t steer off course. Discipline is critical, especially when there are so many distractions around. Put away the phone, turn off your social media and really get into the career zone when you’re spending time on career goals. Organize your efforts into a weekly schedule of activities so that you know exactly when to do each activity.
5. Create good job search habits and stay the course
Consistency breeds habit and regularly enforcing a positive habit around your job search, will breed goal success. Successfully searching for a new job doesn’t mean sending a few applications at random, it means continually finding new opportunities and going after them in a strategic way. If you’ve been in the job search for months, only sent a few applications, and scheduled zero informational interviews, I hate to break it to you but you are in need of better focus.
6. Find an accountability buddy and schedule regular check-ins
Let’s face it: It’s tough to go it alone. This is especially true in the job search because it can get very discouraging very quick. Discouragement can lead to a lack of hope and quitting. Therefore, you need a buddy. Whether it’s a career coach or a friend, you need to find that one person who is able to give you a positive support system consisting of continual encouragement & accountability. We all make excuses. However having someone to identify and lovingly, yet firmly, call out those excuses is tremendously valuable in staying on track. I recommend partnering up with someone you’ve met at job search workshops so you can both keep each other accountable!
7. Stay positive no matter what
The job search stinks (enough said). Just remember, it’s not you, it’s them. You’re great at what you do and have a purpose in life. Maybe you haven’t hit the career jackpot yet but you will so keep your chin up at all times. Try this guide to staying hopeful in a hopeless job search if you’re really feeling like the hope is dwindling. Also dial down the social media usage. Studies have shown that too much social media can lead to depression – and the job search is already an emotionally rocky place to be. Why add more anxiety through consumption of your social network’s curated images!
8. Ramp up your networking big time
You never know when your next random Linkedin connection, coffee date, recruiter phone call or bus conversation will turn into a life-changing situation. Be open to connecting so you can weave your network into a world of opportunity. Spend some time finding high-value contacts on LinkedIn. Then once you’ve found the right contacts send carefully crafted messages to increase your chances of new contact engagement. You will also want to organize your networking efforts into a system. This will help you easily identify follow up activities.
Once you have taken the effort to implement these steps, you will be well on your way to moving out of a job search rut!
If you’re hoping achieve your job search goals, check out the Job Search Accelerator. In this budget-friendly job landing program you’ll have access to all of Noelle’s expert resources including optimized resume / cover letter templates, networking scripts and templates, LinkedIn optimization courses, interview answer scripts and more – everything you need to feel confident, navigate the job search successfully, and put your best foot forward as an applicant.