It’s a huge understatement to say that 2010 was a tough year to be looking for a job. Although it looks like 2011 will be somewhat better, it’s certainly too soon to say for sure. As an individual, there’s not much you can do to change the economy, but you can certainly change your personal outlook.
Use the occasion of the New Year to start anew. Take a fresh look at your job search, drop the baggage you may have picked up over the last several weeks or months, and make new commitments to put new energy into your job search process.
Here some suggestions to help:
- Check your attitude. As I write about often… attitude is probably THE most important factor why some people get jobs and others don’t. A job search, particularly a long one, can make it very difficult to keep a positive and optimistic mental attitude. Take stock of your attitude and how you come across to others. Find ways to help you get new hope and encouragement to be sure you’re presenting yourself in the most positive and professional way.
- Check your schedule. How are you spending your time? Are you spending too much time surfing job postings and not enough time actually connecting to real people? Are you pursuing companies directly? Are you spending enough time on your job search each day? Treating your job search like a full-time job helps you improve your attitude as well. Doing what you know you should do is a great way to feel good about yourself. Schedule your time weekly and do the things you scheduled yourself to do!
- Get help by helping. The best networking you can do for your own job search often comes out of helping others. Whenever you talk to someone, ask them how you might be able to be of help to them. Volunteer at any kind of service organization. Find ways to serve others. When people are being helped, they are far more willing to share information, leads, contacts, or ideas. When you’re volunteering somewhere, you’re likely to meet new people that may have additional ideas and contacts for you as well. On top of that… it’s yet another way to feel better about yourself and boost your attitude.
- Get involved. Often, great networking opportunities come at events related to your field. Find local professional associations, trade groups, user groups, or special interest groups related to your profession, field, or industry. Find trade shows, seminars, workshops, certification programs, or classes related to the job you’re looking for. Get plugged in. Go to meetings, take classes, or anything else where you meet new people that can be targeted contacts for you. Additionally, it’s a resume booster to show that even though you may not currently be working, you are still active in your field.
- Seek best practices. Look over your job search process and figure out which activities produced some results for you and which didn’t. Determine to spend more time on the activities that worked. Furthermore, seek and try new ideas. Determine that you’ll be willing to step outside your comfort zone to get the results you need. Always keep track of what seems to work for you and what doesn’t.No one has a ‘magic bullet’ to guarantee you a new job. A job search requires doing dozens of tasks, all the time. Don’t give up on an activity after a couple of blanks,but don’t keep doing the same things endlessly that don’t make progress for you, and expect different results.
This website and many others online offer tremendous ideas and techniques for an effective job search. Learn what you need to learn, and apply them with a fresh perspective. 2011 can be the best year of your life! Start with a new outlook on your job search and decide you’ll take Nike’s advice and ‘Just Do It!’