You may be inadvertently standing in your own way while searching for a job.
When asked by friends how your job hunt is going, you may cite obstacles such as the economy, too tight of a job market or hiring managers that are just too picky. In fact, you may be your own worst enemy.
1. You know you are well connected.
You may be well known within certain circles of influence or industries, but is your name top-of-mind for those persons who would be most likely to let you know about new job opportunities or forward on your name as an excellent candidate for a new opening? If your answer is a weak maybe or a no, you may need to nurture existing relationships or cultivate new ones. Click on this post for help: How to Enlist Others in Your Job Search.
2. You know your connections will help you with your job-hunt.
Are you certain? Have you specifically asked your contacts for their help by suggesting concrete ways for them to assist you, e.g., be on the lookout and alert you about specific types of jobs that you are seeking? Don’t assume that your existing connections know specific ways to best assist you with your job search. Tell them. This is not the time to be bashful. Do they even have your personal email, phone number and other contact information readily available? If they are fellow believers, have you asked for them to pray for your job search?
3. You and others know what job you are specifically seeking out.
Can you spell out in 30 seconds or less your ideal job including the market sectors, industry/industries, the geographic location/s, and maybe even the organizations you are targeting? Clarity of purpose and aim cannot be left to chance or individual interpretation. Start with yourself by being crystal clear about the job you are seeking and then communicate that in multiple ways to your allies.
4. You only need to wait for the right job to come to you.
I’m not sure that this was ever an effective means of finding a new job, but certainly in today’s environment relying on this tactic will not achieve results.
5. Your past successes speak for themselves.
They may speak for themselves, but you may be the only one able to hear them. You may have chalked up numerous success stories to your credit. However, if people don’t know about them or if you haven’t communicated these successes in an memorable way, they aren’t going to help you in your job search. Also, since most successes have very short shelf lives, people (other than you) can easily forget a significant contribution you made last year while carrying out your previous job duties. Make it easy for yourself and others by jotting down the key elements of 5-7 standout successes of yours. Then when talking with prospective employers or prompting your references, pass on a couple of your key success stories.
6. You apply for all job openings regardless of fit.
When looking at job opportunities, avoid the trap of saying to yourself, “I could do that.” Sure, you could do that with advanced training, with a new certification, with the right experience under your belt, etc. But, that’s not what the job market is seeking today. And, unless you want to waste your time in filling out applications while facing the almost certain disappointment to come when you don’t get a response, keep focused on the job opportunities that will position you as a highly competent and competitive candidate.
7. You view your job search as a part-time hobby and hope for the best.
Similar to #4 above, a hobbyist approach to job hunting is not going to be enough.
8. Your references will say good things about you when contacted.
Are you sure? Do you want to chance this important step by hoping that your references will come through for you? It’s not enough for them to provide generalities or sweeping character assessments. If you want colleagues to provide positive, hard-hitting references about you, you will need to “remind” them about your specific, quantifiable accomplishments (see # 5 above).
9. God knows what job you need, so you’ll let Him bring it to you.
God does know you. He knows what you need. But, I don’t find anywhere in scripture where God says to “take it easy and I’ll bring you the job of your dreams.” Take initiative while you work hand-in-hand with God. He could directly lead you to a new job, but it’s more likely He will use one or more of His human agents to help in your pursuit.
If you answered yes or maybe to three or more of the above questions, you probably need to change your mindset, behavior or both. Start today. Avoid being your own worst enemy during your job search.
By Keith Lundquist
For more blogs and related resources on building your faith during a job search, go to www.FaithBetweenJobs.com