If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, you should read it first. If you did, but still aren’t convinced making investments in yourself beyond traditional job search methods is necessary to transition your career, think again.
Roughly 5 million people have been out of work longer than a year. On the bright side, the Department of Labor recently announced the number of vacant positions has increased by 172,000 to 3.74 million, the highest gain since 2008. However, you still can’t afford to sit back and wait for a company to ‘find’ you on a job board. It could happen, but most likely won’t. Plus, if/when they do, they've probably lured 5 – 10 other candidates to compete for the same opportunity.
The fact you're reading this series puts you a step ahead, even if you aren't convinced everything I'm recommending is necessary. Taking the time to think about life goals, time management strategies, and to adjust spending habits can make a world of difference. Review the next four pairs of factors for further insight.
- Know Your Brand vs. Know The Company’s Brand. Related to the Selling vs. Telling factor in Part 1, definitely do your homework on prospective employers. Be ready to explain what you know about their products, services, and/or culture. It’s equally important though to shift the focus to what you can do for them. This factor is often underestimated because we’ve been trained when interviewing to talk up what we’ve done for our past/current employers. A well-written resume will convey that. The best job seekers are those that understand they have to market themselves. Don’t wait until you start getting calls for interviews. Practice, practice, practice selling what makes you a valuable asset.
- Prepare to Interview vs. Prep for Interviews. There are tons of tools on the internet that can help you prepare responses to easy to tough interview questions. Keep in mind, interviews are about YOU so command the stage. Always have a list of questions ready you can ask recruiters, hiring managers, and other interviewers to gain insight about prospective employers. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. Take notes. They'll come in handy, especially if you receive multiple offers.
- Make Friends vs. Network. Who do you think is more likely to champion you to a potential employer, meaning, they’ll sell you as hard as you sell yourself, (a) someone you met at an event, probably spent less than 10 minutes with, and sent a follow-up email to several days later thanking them for basically saying hello to you, or (b) someone that’s come to know-like-and-trust you over a period of time? Seems like an easy answer but I’ll explain. Most people don’t network well. It’s intimidating and confusing to them. The key is to start first with people that you know without a shadow of a doubt will help you gain more visibility and branch out from there. That’s most likely a combination of family, friends, and current/former colleagues. Next, connect with new people you meet on a regular basis to create fans, friends, or followers via social media or other strategies (blog or personal website). Finally, instead of always going to events, host one of your own and encourage those attending to invite 1-2 people. You get the picture. (If I had more time, I’d say more. There’s much to cover on this topic. To be continued.)
- Have Faith vs. Have Fear. Saved the best for last. Prayer, studying and meditating on God’s Word is the answer for me. No matter what I am committing myself to, I have to affirm at the start and end of each day, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). You must believe in yourself. The stronger the belief, the better the outcome. Little to no belief, well, you’re probably in for a bumpy ride. The best way to let go of your fears is to simply get up and get busy. Move, take action, do something. Remember, it's a full time job finding a full time job. Every day won't be a breeze but you CAN do it. Keep yourself busy throughout the transition. Before you know it, you will have achieved the end result (a new job or career), as well grown personally and professionally.
Get access here to a bonus video which provides a recap of all 8 factors and other ways we can stay connected. And don't forget to come back next week for Part 3.
Until next time. Make it a great week! Live well, laugh often, and love much.