Sunday, October 11, 2015

Job Search Enemy Number One

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Job Search Enemy Number One [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Look in the mirror to see your
number one job search enemy.
A job search has many enemies. You can probably name them quickly: potential employers who don’t respond, substandard job openings, onerous online job application systems, job application black holes, competition from other job seekers, and more.

But there are other, more formidable enemies of a successful job search. These foes include the following:
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of focus and direction
  • Laziness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Fear
  • Disorganization
  • Not knowing where to start
These adversaries are even bigger hurdles than the ones I list earlier because they come from you. If you are not aware of your own job search weaknesses or have difficulty admitting, facing, and dealing with them, your job search will be stuck in neutral. So, the number one enemy of a successful job search, unfortunately, is you.

You can, however, change this situation for the better. If your job search seems stuck, ask yourself questions like these:
  • Do I put off job searching?
  • Do I work on my job search every day?
  • Do I have a job search schedule listing how much time I will spend applying for jobs, researching employers, improving my resume, practicing interview answers, networking, and following up?
  • Do I know the type of work I’m good at and want?
  • Do I apply for every job I can, even if it doesn’t fit my background and skills?
  • Do I jump around on job search tasks, such as revising my resume or building a LinkedIn profile, but never finish anything?
  • Do I keep track of where I send resumes, have interviews, and what my next steps are?
  • Do I maintain a positive attitude toward my job hunt?
  • Do I show enthusiasm and confidence in all employer interactions?
  • Am I afraid of networking, calling employers, interviewing, asking questions, following up, and seeking help with my job search?
  • Do I feel too young, too old, too inexperienced, or too experienced to get the job I want?
  • Do I feel self-conscious about how I come across in interviews or when talking on the phone?
  • Do I talk to family and friends about my job search and seek their encouragement and support?
  • Have I forgotten to follow up and send materials and references as promised to potential employers?
Your answers to these questions will reveal whether you are sabotaging your own job search. If you are, it's time to admit your job search nemeses and begin to deal with them.

Take one small step to overcome your job search hurdles. For example, why not apply for your ideal job or contact employers of interest right now? Maybe you can set aside time every day to do nothing but job hunting. Or perhaps you can get better organized with a calendar, folders, and reminders. Maybe you can practice making phone calls to employers and answering interview questions. Perhaps you need to reach out to a friend who will encourage you. Also consider visiting your local American Job Center for free job search workshops, career coaching, job clubs, and much more.

After you beat your number one job search enemy, you’ll be ready to look in the mirror and face any other job search challenge.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Go-Go-Go for Goals in Your Job Search

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Setting goals is a useful task in life. I find that most of my accomplishments have come from setting goals, and of course, from following through. Setting goals is especially useful in the job search, because goals give you a path to pursue in a direction you choose. Without goals in your job hunt,
Go for Goals in Your Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Want success sooner? Go ahead and set
 goals for your job search
you may
  • Find it hard to get started.
  • Find it difficult to keep going.
  • Take the wrong career direction.
  • Not take the right steps to get hired.
  • Take a long time to find work.
  • Lose job search motivation.
  • End up with a job you don’t want.

Job search goals help you focus on what you need to do to get the right job as quickly as possible. So I recommend you set goals for your job hunt. List what you want to achieve and how you will do it.

For more details on creating job search goals, see my Shy Job Seeker post on Introverts Excel at 10 Steps of Job Search Planning. The suggestions in that post will work for introverts, extroverts, and everyone in between.

Based on my experience, I believe the most important part of setting goals in the job search is getting started. The first two letters of the word goal are g-o, which of course spells go! 

So go and get started on your job hunt goals. It will put you one step closer to landing a job that’s right for you.