Avoiding Job Search Insanity
Has your job search made you crazy?
It may have, if you agree with this definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.
Many otherwise-intelligent people find themselves without work for 6, 12, 18 months or longer. Yet they continue to do the same things — network the same way, send out the same resume, search the same Web sites for openings — long after they should have changed their approach.
It’s time to stop the job search insanity.
Here’s how you can do it, by asking yourself three “magic” questions once a week …
Question #1: What’s working?
Ask yourself this every Sunday evening or Monday morning, before you plan your job search activities for the week.
If you’re like most folks, you spend most of your time networking, applying for advertised jobs, posting your resume on Web sites, doing volunteer projects and/or going to informational interviews.
Now, what’s working? Which of your job-search methods produced the most interviews or callbacks from employers last week? Do more of that this week!
Believe it or not, this is a radical concept for some job seekers. They often to react to each day’s events without having a written plan of attack. But not you. Find out what’s working — and do more of it.
Question #2: What’s not working?
If you honestly ask this question, the answer may upset you. But the outcome will ultimately help you get hired faster.
Example: if you’ve sent out the same resume to apply for 77 jobs you were perfect for, and didn’t get called for interviews, guess what? That resume is not working. Or the way you sent it out — email, fax and/or mail — is not working.
It’s time to change your approach.
Don’t be like the laid-off manager profiled in a March 2003 issue of The Wall Street Journal. He sent out 700 resumes and got only two interviews. But instead of changing his resume or the way he distributed it, he resorted to holding up a sign along a Boston road that said, “I NEED A JOB.”
What’s not working in your job search? Change it. Or stop doing it! (That man with the sign did get hired, by the way, but only after his plight became national news. Don’t depend on that happening to you.)
Question #3: What’s next?
It’s not enough to know what’s working and what’s not in your job hunt. You have to plan effectively for the week ahead. To do that, ask yourself, “What’s next in my search?”
Because … you get just 24 hours each day. After eating, sleeping, etc., you have about 14 hours to spend looking for work. You’ll never get those hours back. Make the most of them!
It’s been said that every hour of planning saves five hours of doing. So start spending an hour every week scheduling what’s next in your job search.
When you do, you’ll work smarter, not harder. You’ll find yourself doing more of what works, less of what doesn’t and what’s next? How about a new job?!