Whether you’re searching for your first job, a better job, or a whole new career, discouragement may join you as an unwelcome companion. However, rather than wearing you down and eroding your confidence, if responded to properly, it can lead to more effective action. By identifying how you are stuck and then fixing what’s not working, discouragement can fuel job search success.
Read the situations below, and note which apply to you. Follow the advice, and your search will yield better results.
–>Get interviews and offers but not for the pay and benefits you want/expect?
Learn to negotiate. Read Jack Chapman’s book, Negotiating Your Salary (SalaryNegotiations.com). It’s full of practical, realistic information and advice. Knowing when and how to discuss salary can save time and worry; even better, it may result in thousands of dollars of increased income.
–>Get interviews and offers, but not for the jobs you want?
What do you want to do? Are you simply responding to posted openings? If you’re “open” to lot of possibilities, you’ll appear unfocused to employers. Find competent help in refining your focus.
With a clearer focus you’ll be better able to uncover the hidden–unpublished–job market. You’ll no longer feel at the mercy of online applications, blind ads, Human Resource screeners, and unwanted contacts from recruiters who troll websites for resumes.
–>Get Interview for the jobs you want, but no offers?
What’s happening in your interviews? Are there questions or interview styles that trouble you? Is there something in your past (being fired, a gap in your work history) that you don’t know how to respond to? Read; books and internet resources about interviewing abound. Practice. Get a friend to video record a “mock interview.”
If employers later tell you that they offered the job to someone else, ask what you can do to strengthen your candidacy. (This is different than asking why you didn’t get the offer.) Interviewers may not feel comfortable telling you, but if they do, you can learn from their feedback.
–>Send resumes, but get no response?
First, get resume help. Free or low-cast help is available through Missouri Career Centers and your college/university career center/alumni services. In very specialized situations, paying for resume writing is appropriate.
Second, and more important, do not rely solely on your resume to land interviews. Learn how to find the people who have the problems you can help solve. Yes, even if you’re shy, you can learn the skills required to develop connections.
–>Know that it’s important to network but think you’re too shy or don’t know any influential people?
J. Michael Farr’s book, The Very Quick Job Search, describes a practical, step-by-step approach that works if you know your target. Networking can be done respectfully. It is a learnable set of skills and will benefit you–and others–in all areas of life, including your success after landing your new job.
–>Wonder if you’ll ever find work in your desired field?
First, make sure you’re tapping into the unpublished market. Then find out if you’re missing something–experience, training, or contacts. Find out how to bridge those gaps.
If you’re unwilling or unable to bridge the gaps, determine how you can get one step closer to your goal, and pursue that. Or alter your plans: always have a “Plan B.” Sometimes a survival job is necessary to pay the bills while you are between jobs or filling in the missing pieces.
–> Considering going back to school because you don’t know what else to do?
Before you spend a dime of your money or a minute of your time in school, be sure you know why you’re returning and how your additional education will enhance your employability. Too many people with little paid work experience think another degree will somehow make them more employable. While valuable, another degree is no substitute for actual work experience.
* * * * *
Conducting a job search is challenging. Discouragement is common. Be recognizing how you’re stuck you can identify appropriate resources and adjust your strategy. You’ll translate your discouragement into action
Tamara Williams-Reding began her job as a psychotherapist at Kids in the Middle on May 3. All the best to you, Tamara!
THANK YOU FOR REFERRALS from:
Jonna Mason, Vicki Bernard, Betsy Douglass, Robert Vogel, Sally Lorino, Jeff Stockton, John Lee, and Susan Davis
In each newsletter issue I recommend a career resource. The resource may be a website, book, local group, or meeting.
This issue’s resource is How LinkedIn Will Fire Up Your Career by Jessi Hempel. It appeared in print in Fortune magazine’s April 12, 2010 edition.
Consider a CAP (Career Action Planning) Session if you:
- Feel stuck or stalled in your career
- Are worried about a layoff
- Wonder if it’s not just a new job but a new career you need
- Have been looking for work but not getting results
In this 90-120 minute meeting, we can get to the root of your career problem and come up with a plan to solve it. Contact me for more information.
Suggestions For Topics?
If you have a topic you’d like me to address in the newsletter or on my blog, just let me know by contacting me. I’ll give you my best, informed advice.
Would you like to receive this newsletter by email every other month?
Complete the Contact Form to subscribe