As a job search drags on, it’s often difficult to keep feeling like you’re being productive from day to day.
Daily planning and daily objectives will make your job search move forward at a better pace. You never know where your best leads will come from so you need to pursue all you can.
Here are five daily goals that will make sure your job search continues to keep gaining ground in that daily uphill battle…
1 – Start each day by charging your batteries! As I tell people often: “Maintaining a positive attitude is one of the most important, and most difficult things to do during a job search.” A positive, optimistic attitude is extremely attractive to potential employers, and helps you keep doing all the things you need to do in your search. However, a positive attitude is easily diminished by the 'hurry up and wait’ nature of the job search process, and the inevitable set-backs.
Zig Ziglar, the well-known motivational speaker and trainer says:
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing - that's why we recommend daily."
First thing each morning read something that gets you in the right frame of mind and gets you excited about the prospects you have before you. Whether it’s scripture, a motivational book, encouraging poetry, an inspiring biography, or whatever else works for you. Do not fill your mind with things that discourage you or bring you down. Things like the news, or some dark novel, or anything else that damages your sense of optimism rather than boosts it. Charge your batteries each day to get off to a good start.
2 – Make 2 new networking contacts. If you make only two new contacts each day; 10 per week; 40 per month, you will quickly build your number of connections to a level that will ultimately lead you to your new job. Certainly you’d like to find new connections at companies you are pursuing. However, you never know who anyone knows! You may find your grandmother’s friends each have children in hiring roles in companies all around your area. Who does your grandma know? You may find connections at companies you are interested in but the connection is not in your field. They are very valuable contacts as well.
Your question to each contact you make shouldn’t be “Do you know of a job opening in my field?”, but rather “Who else do you know that would be worthwhile to talk to?” Your objective is to build a chain of referrals from one person, to the next, to the next until you reach the person that might have the right position for you. Your goal with each contact, is to get at least a couple of additional contacts… to build the next link in your chain. Once you’ve made connections, you can stay in touch with them monthly to continue to build relationships and gain more leads and ideas.
Get at least 2 new contacts each day, and you’ll always have people to call.
3 – Make some kind of connection at one of your target companies. If you haven’t a list already, you should create a list of 10 to 15 target companies. These are companies at which you would most like to find a role. Each day, determine that you will connect in some way to at least one of those companies.
That connection may be a follow up email to someone you know there. It may be a phone call to a new contact that you found through LinkedIn, Twitter, a networking meeting, or from one of your new networking contacts. It may be sending a Thank You to someone else you spoke to recently at that organization. It may be asking for another contact from someone you’ve spoken to at the company before. It may be sending a coffee mug with your resume to someone you’d like to meet with and asking if you might buy them a cup of coffee.
Be creative, be professional, be well prepared, be concise, but be “Pleasantly Persistent” and make at least one contact to a target company each day.
4 – Do something related to your field or industry. As your job search drags on, it is easy to begin feeling out of touch with what is happening in your field or industry. As you interview for a new position, and your resume indicates you’ve been unemployed for an extended period, it becomes an obvious question to the potential employer as well… “Is this person still current?”
If you can show on your resume, and describe in an interview how you’ve made extra efforts to remain ‘plugged-in’, it will go a long way to overcoming any questions they may have.
Find free industry, technical, trade, or User Group meetings, seminars, or presentations. Look into taking a class, reading a book, working on a certification, or creating a group yourself.
In addition to keeping yourself current, most of these venues are excellent opportunities to network with people targeted to your job search. Find something related to the jobs you are pursuing each day and get ‘plugged-in”.
5 – Learn and apply something new for an effective job search. This site and so many others online are tremendous resources for improving your approach in your search. There are books, magazines, job search presentations, webinars, and other avenues to gain ideas and applications to becoming a more effective job hunter.
Learn how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other sites as effectively as possible. Find other tools to help you find contacts, manage your activities, or make effective connections.
Just like most anything else in life, you improve in your results as you continue to learn, practice, and apply new ideas and skills. Learn something new for your job search each day.
If you set out to accomplish these 5 goals each day… your job search will definitely be more productive!