How many people do you know that hate their job, but have been doing it for YEARS? Do you know why? Because finding a better job is hard work. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but somebody has to. Finding the job you want “ain’t gonna be easy".
People would actually rather stay where they are and be miserable than take the time to find something better. Too many people give up because “life" gets in the way and inertia slows.
These people will always have an excuse:
+ It’s just not the right time right now. . .
+ My husband/wife is in the middle of a big project and. . .
+ My son and daughter are in college now and. . .
+ We just bought a new car and. . .
+ The job market just isn’t’ good right now and. . .
+ I am a little nervous about the economy and. . .
+ Yadda, yadda, yadda. . .
I understand that life happens and that many of the reasons that people give for not changing jobs are valid, but I also know that just by changing a few things in your life, you can carve out the time needed to make your life better.
If you follow the 6 suggestions and ideas in this article, you will get where you want to go a lot faster. So let’s get started.
1 First And Foremost, Get Your Personal Life In Order As Best You Can.
Before you start looking for a new job, be sure that your personal life is “in order" and prepared to accept what it takes to find a new job. You are going to need a lot of quality time and support at home in order to find the job you want.
Place your job campaign ahead of all other personal priorities. Make a commitment. This doesn't mean ignore your family by any means, but it does mean that some things will need to be sacrificed. If you have a choice between working on your resume and going to you son’s concert, go to the concert. But if you have a choice of watching Monday Night Football or working on your cover letter, well you get the picture!
2 - Set a target amount of time you will spend on your job search each week and stick to it.
As with so many other things in life, you get out of it as much as you put into it. I've seen books entitled, 20 Minutes to a Better Resume, and so on. I'm sorry, but if you really want a great cover letter and resume, you have to spend a lot more than 20 minutes to make it right. Even a half hour to one hour a day is better than nothing.
3 - Begin gathering facts, figures and accomplishments about your career to date.
Dates of employment, job titles and responsibilities, salary progression, major achievements, special skills that make you unique, educational background, including any courses you've taken since college or high school. Be sure to include any training your company has provided or courses they have paid for. Get it all down on paper because you'll need it to write your resume, cover letter and on interviews.
4 - Create your own personal portfolio.
When advertising agencies are looking for new clients, they always show you their “portfolio". This usually includes copies of their finest work, achievements and the great results their campaigns achieved.
You also have a product to “sell" - it’s you! Consider that you are your own company. It’s called “ME INC. " As president of ME INC. you need to create a product that your prospects (in this case a potential employer) sees value in and is willing to “buy" (literally and figuratively).
A good portfolio will visually demonstrate and support your abilities during an interview.
Anything that is not proprietary, confidential or property of previous employers should be kept in your portfolio. This works particularly well for artists, marketing personnel, architects, designers, etc.
Some of the things you might want to include could be catalogs, brochures, letters of success, anything you created like ads, PR, reports, patents, products, etc. Any successful “before and after" campaigns work particularly well.
5 - Create a list of companies that you think you'd like to work for.
Get the address, phone number and the name of the CEO/President if possible. You can get this information from the ads you cut out from the newspaper or from your local Chamber of Commerce (they usually have a list of member companies that might be helpful).
Many local business journals publish annual “LISTS" editions. These usually list the top 10-25 companies in different categories including the largest private and public companies, largest Advertising and Public Relations companies, largest non-profits, etc. Creating this list helps you focus your energies on a smaller group of target companies. This is a “rifle" approach versus a “shotgun" approach.
6 - Get organized and be ready for the months ahead with these final 6 suggestions
+ Get a personal/private cell phone if you can so you are not making phone calls from your work office. Make sure to take off all those cute greetings too. Get a home answering machine and again change the message to be more professional.
+ Appearance counts! Make sure that you have the right clothes to go on interviews. This doesn't necessarily mean formal suits. Your wardrobe should match the industry you are in and the job that you seeking.
+ Try to find a quite place in your home that you can devote to your job-hunting effort. A home office is ideal if you have one.
+ Change your e-mail address to something appropriate. Your SugarPie@hotmail.com address my have been cute while you were dating, but it doesn't make for a good first impression and certainly doesn't present the professional image you want to project.
+ Start thinking about who you will use for references. You'll need to find people you can trust. Start gathering their names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses now. Don't forget to call and let your references know that someone might be calling then in the near future.
+ An organized desk will be your best friend especially if you get an unexpected call from a hiring manager. You'll also need to set up a system of tracking who you send resumes to and what job you were applying for.
Remember, in the end, no one owes you a job. It truly is your responsibility to find a job. Sure, there are recruiters, friends, etc. but the bottom line is that you can't/shouldn't depend on anyone else to get you a job.
Jason Adams is President of Street Smart Sales and Marketing and author of the highly acclaimed book The StreetSmart Job-Changing System. For more information visit http://www.JobChangingSystem.com