Job hunting can be an incredibly frustrating process. You’ve brushed up your résumé, written a solid cover letter, and been applying to roles that seem darn near tailor made for you…
But when your phone is silent and inbox remains empty…
It can be tempting to ask “What’s wrong with me?”
But I’ve got good news.
There’s nothing wrong with YOU. Taking control of your career and winning the right job is serious business. Throughout my career as a manager, hiring manager, and mentor, I have met thousands of job seekers, all of whom fit into three clear categories:
- The Seriously Committed: You understand that the hiring game has changed and you are on a committed hunt for the next opportunity. Your drive to change the status quo has carried you this far – but you know you need to learn some additional skills to get real results.
- The Plan B-ers: You’re frustrated with your current situation and are searching for Plan-B. Despite your unhappiness, you haven’t fully committed to searching for a new role but are keeping your eyes and ears open. You may be faced with a career change as your previous job-searches came up empty.
- The Hobbyist: Like occasional guitar players and weekend golfers, you dabble in your job search efforts, conduct R.A.A. (Random Acts of Application) by spraying out résumés, and meet up with people for coffee. If you’re in this category, and you want to stay there, stop reading now. If you want to get serious and find (and win) that new job, stay with me here!
It’s obvious the optimal category to be in is “Seriously Committed Job Hunter.” Why? Well, the truth is the job market has changed. Carefully worded cover letters and a strong résumé aren’t enough to get attention anymore – no matter how relevant your experience might be!
You need the best skills and to execute every step of the job hunting process brilliantly. Job searching isn’t an application process, it’s a hunt in the truest sense of the word – and you need to be patient, prepared, and hungry.
There are no shortcuts to finding the right role. You’ll need to carve time out of your day to speed up the quest and stay committed to the process.
Where do you start?
Making the shift into the Seriously Committed category can be frustrating, especially when you feel as though your skills are out of date or something you’ve been doing is just NOT working.
As with any goal, your odds of success improve exponentially when you invest time to not only develop your existing skills but also to identify gaps and roadblocks and look for ways to eliminate them.
I’ve developed a 3 Step Action Plan to help you successfully negotiate your transition from a casual job-seeker to a seriously committed one; plus I’ve included my ultimate organization tool for any job search. Click here to download your free Job Search Tracker.
The 3-Step Action Plan for Finding the Right Job Now
- Set Your Goal: Have you taken the time to clearly identify where you want your career to go – and how to get there? Have you thought about what role would be a perfect fit for your career? Sit down and clarify your goal until you can answer the question “What are you looking for?” in 20 words or less.
- Develop Your Plan: Now that you know what role you want, develop a schedule of how you will spend your time (and where it will be focused) over the next quarter. Create a detailed list of things you need to get done – and make sure you assign deadlines.
- Keep Yourself Organized: How many job applications do you have out there that are still possibilities? If you can’t answer this question then your job search is NOT organized. You need a clear, efficient system that not only keeps track of the opportunities you’re pursuing but also the specific people you need to follow up with.
Thunderbird School of Global Management Alumna Dana Manciagli '84 is the author of "Cut the crap, Get a job". With her 'Career Mojo' column, Dana is the sole syndicated career columnist for the Business Journal nationwide. Her remarkable profile includes a career in global sales and marketing for Fortune 500 corporations like Microsoft, IBM, and Kodak. She has coached, interviewed and hired thousands of job seekers. This article was originally published on her website.