You may be out of work. Plenty of people are. You may be underemployed and want a better job. Plenty of people fit into this category as well. You may not like your job. Many people don’t. You may be wise enough to realize that the days of going to work for one company in one capacity and staying there until retirement are over. Those days will never come back. These days, people transition at least three major times in life. “I did this, then I did this and now I want to do that.” Whatever your circumstances, I hope these notes will help.
These are the basic steps as I would describe them. They are culled from the experts: recruiters, outplacement people, human resources professionals, placement specialists, life coaches, business people (employers), business coaches, etc., etc.
1. Establish your objective: in its simplest terms, decide what you want to be when you grow up. As the Cheshire Cat told Alice, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will do. Don’t let the cat win. Here is your chance. Decide what you really want to do.
2. Develop a marketing strategy/plan: You may be like me with no sales ability, whatsoever. But this is a sales job. You have a product: YOU. Learn and plan. Some may have to spend extra time here. That’s okay. Just remember, everyone does it, and successfully. You will too.
3. Produce the key components. Your resume, certainly, but that is not likely the only component you want to work on. There is social media to be tailored, letters to write, networking scripts to compose and practice. Much to do. Again, that’s okay. It will keep you from getting bored and plopping down on the couch for forty winks (or worse, forty weeks).
4. Activate the Plan: I am no salesman and I am no networker either, so I can empathize with the difficulty many face. Still, it is the way it works. Write this in Bold type: Companies don’t hire job applicants. People hire people.
5. Be prepared: Forewarned is forearmed. Interviews can be practiced. Offers and the negotiation process can be learned like anything else. Don’t be caught wanting. Be prepared.
In the coming weeks and probably months I will be sharing on one or more of the above. Let me just close this first transitional post by saying if you have been laid off, been out of work for a time, are underemployed, need to move to a new job, or just can’t stand the job you are doing, at least in America we have the right to pursue happiness. Don’t think of the job hunt as a terrible, stress-filled burdensome thing. Think of it as a golden opportunity to pursue your happiness.