Envision the job search as a journey and treat it with importance, says Scott Uhrig, founder of Whiterock Partners, a retained executive search firm in Austin, Texas that focuses on high-tech companies.
“You’ll have the chance to reconnect, meet new people and learn new things,” Uhrig adds. This journey eventually leads to a fulfilling career, if you put the energy and focus into it.
“Your ability to navigate the ever-changing career landscape and conduct successful job searches will drive your overall level of career satisfaction,” he says.
Uhrig urges jobseekers to abandon outdated approaches that bring a lot of rejection, such as mailing out dozens of resumes and cover letters or looking for openings in online job boards. Instead, he recommends the following steps:
1. Stop and think. Before you apply for a job or talk to someone who is interested in you, think about and articulate what you really want next in your career. Be proactive about the jobs you are pursuing. In the end, you will be more satisfied in a job that really reflects what you want to do. “Fulfilling work is at the core of wellbeing, arguably more important than financial, social, physical or community wellbeing,” he adds.
2. Develop a support system. Finding work is tough and emotionally draining. You’ll do better with the support of a coach and a small group of trusted colleagues who can offer perspective, guidance, structure, support and accountability.
3. Learn about jobs before they are posted. You do that by getting in front of hiring managers who will think about you when they are still quietly looking to fill a job. Uhrig calls this phase “narrow socialization.” The hiring manager is still trying to identify candidates. Roughly 80 percent of jobs – often the better ones – are filled during this phase. If you wait until the job is posted, your odds of landing it goes from 1 in 20 to 1 in 100.
4. Go outside your immediate network. When most people are looking for a job, they contact their friends and colleagues. This is better than not networking at all. But what you really want to do is push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Ask for introductions. Invite people out for coffee. They may not always have the time, but they’re more likely remember you than if you make no contact.
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