Treat Your New Job Search Like a Full-Time Job
by Outside-In® Career Transition Coach
So your job has ended due to a restructuring, merger, downsizing, whatever. Time to hit the golf course, right?
Think again… you actually have a new job already: finding your next job!
I remember when I experienced my first restructuring and knew my days would soon be free. A still-employed colleague who knew I enjoyed bicycling said “summer is coming, I’d get out on my bike.” Somehow I didn’t think that would go over too well with my family or my mortgage company. So while I did take a few more bike rides than usual, I also set about creating structure and goals for myself so that I would soon find work and keep my sanity.
The difference between a “real” job and a job search is now you’re the boss. You’re in business for yourself and your future is solely in your hands. So here are some tips to help you make the most of your new, and hopefully temporary, job:
Set a schedule. Be at your computer and desk every morning by 9am if not sooner. Be fresh and ready (which translates into getting showered and dressed). The benefits of a ‘work’ mindset far outweigh the comfort of staying in your robe and slippers (more on that later).
Refresh your personal brand. Update your LinkedIn site or create one if you haven’t already. If your company offered you outplacement services, jump at them. Sharpen your resume, consult your job/career coach if you have one. Make a list of the jobs you have had, what you liked, how you succeeded and from there, fine-tune your vision for your next job.
Subscribe to an “aggregator job site” such as Indeed.com or one your career coach suggests. At Barton Career Advisors, clients get access to such a site as part of our services. Our jobs portal searches the Internet for all jobs that match your preferences within a certain geographic radius. This saves you time from going site to site.
Network, network, network! Set a goal to reach out to at least ten people you know or LinkedIn contacts by e-mail or phone calls. Let them know not that you are out of a job but instead that you’re in the market for your next opportunity, Remember to be very positive in your dialogue even if inside you’re still feeling kind of cynical about your last job.
Ask your contacts about other people they know who may be looking for someone in your field or would just be good for you to know. Set a goal of adding at least five new people to your network each day.
Dress to impress. So if you’re doing all this at your desk, why not just stay in your robe and slippers? I guarantee you the day will come when you’ll suddenly hear about a last minute networking event and unless you’re ready to go… lost opportunity! The bigger issue here is that you can’t job search without spending a good portion of each week out of your house.
Personal contact is so important especially in an e-mail world where standing out and being remembered can be so challenging. Start by asking some close friends and contacts to meet in person, maybe for coffee or lunch. Try former managers with whom you have a good relationship. Vendors you have worked with are great prospects… they want you to find a new job and then maybe they’ll get your new business.
Utilize local resources. Professional associations all have monthly meetings as well. Chambers of Commerce and Rotaries usually welcome guests. Maybe a friend who belongs to an organization can bring you as a guest. If/when in an e-mail or phone conversation someone says “we should meet…” your response should be “OK, when works for you?” Constantly be in the business of meeting new people.
Follow-up with people who share their time with you. A hand-written thank you note makes a lasting impression. If you come across an article that reminds you of one of your contacts, send it with a note saying “thought you’d be interested…”
Evaluate your efforts and determine what you need to do in the next week to accelerate your progress. With this strategy, your job search will keep you motivated, crowd out any residual bad feelings about your last job and allow you to say quite naturally and confidently “I’m looking for my next opportunity.”
Good luck! Questions? Need assistance with your new job search? Contact us at 302-428-5270.