With the holiday season and Black Friday sales off to a fast start both online and offline, we can sometimes lose sight of our larger life and career goals. Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to slow down a bit and reflect on what we already have to be thankful for…before we go out and shop for best buys!
Making a wish on the Thanksgiving turkey wishbone is traditional in my family. Along with that tradition, we give thanks for our many blessings. If you are a job seeker in this highly competitive job market, you may feel too disheartened to give thanks. So, let’s begin with some “give THANKS” tips for a productive job search:
T – Time: Plan on spending 20-40 hours per week using effective (not simply convenient) job search techniques. For example, spending 40 hours per week looking for online job postings is a reactive job search approach and does not typically yield great results. Proactive job search methods, such as making direct employer contact and employee networking, include a mix of activities that put you in control of what you are seeking and thus your career future.
H – Habits: If your goal is a successful conclusion to your job search (the job you really want!), the habits you develop and act upon daily are your road map. Do you treat looking for a job like a job itself and put in an 8-hour day? Have you determined a daily and weekly schedule that works well with your family life and maximizes your high-energy cycles?
A – Attitude: Many job seekers experience challenges to sustaining a positive attitude; it is natural when you are bombarded with rejection daily. Anger, fear, self-doubt, and blame can undermine even the most technically sound job search methods. Since you may suffer from an attitude meltdown during your job search, what are you doing to counter that possibility? Do you have a support system in place of people you can turn to for encouragement and a level head? What activities revitalize you and give you that needed boost to make it through the day? Consciously build those into your job search schedule to regularly refresh your attitude.
N – Network: Your network, both professionally and personally, is the foundation of a proactive job search. It can expand your success rate dramatically provided you know how to build and maintain a job-leads-producing funnel without coming off as a “user”. Learning how to network correctly is crucial. Rather than starting off a new networking relationship by asking for job leads, why not ask what you can do for the other person first? With sincere interest in the other person, that will build a foundation of goodwill you can count on for future job leads and networking referrals.
K – Knowledge: Of course you know to keep up-to-date with your job skills and training, but how about the new proactive job search techniques? If you are still conducting an exclusively traditional job search by only responding to job postings, you are missing out on the bulk of job opportunities that actually exist. Why would you limit your odds of success in this way? Quickly ramp up on key social media job search methods using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, personal branding and more by consulting with careers professionals, such as career coaches and career counselors.
S – Stamina: Conducting a job search can be one of the most physically and emotionally demanding periods of your life. If you are constantly stressed out and physically tired, you will not be able to maintain the level of job search activity necessary to land a quality job. So, what can you change in your life to build your physical and mental stamina? What has worked for you in the past to rejuvenate your body and spirit? It might be getting more exercise, eating well-balanced meals, listening to or making music, connecting with family and friends, making time for hobbies or causes you are passionate about, or praying and meditation.
Take each THANKS tip one at a time and begin a job-search makeover today! Then revisit these tips whenever your job search needs a boost. Give THANKS to your job search and it will thank you back with more and higher quality job opportunities. Of course, it never hurts to wish on the Thanksgiving turkey wishbone too!