Too many job seekers accomplish very little from day to day because they believe they have to have everything perfect before they make a call, submit a resume, pursue a job lead, or set a meeting.
They get stuck in “Analysis Paralysis”!!!
I’m a big believer in great preparation, and many of my articles talk extensively about preparing and practicing thoroughly in order to present yourself as professionally as you can. However, at some point you have to just decide it’s close enough and jump in! Otherwise, you end up achieving little.
Some basic realizations can help you put things in perspective and accomplish more:
What have you got to lose??? Often, job seekers are afraid to make a phone call, because they feel that if they don’t do it perfectly, they will blow a job opportunity. That may be true, however, you already don’t have the job! Odds are heavily in your favor that by calling and talking to someone, your chances of gaining interest is greatly improved. By not making the call, you have no chance of gaining an advantage over other candidates. If you call, and somehow blow it, you’ve lost nothing compared to where you started. Don’t put so much weight on each call that it prevents you from making them at all.
It’s all a work in progress! There is no such thing as a “perfect” resume, a “perfect” phone call, or a “perfect” meeting. They always have room for improvement and should all be constant works in progress. The best way to improve them, though, is to use them and then tweak them for the next time around. As you develop a resume, or a phone script, or an “Elevator Speech”, you will best find how they can be improved by the response you get when you use them with someone. Then you can make adjustments, and try again with someone else. You will never get the same benefit out of practice at home, as you will get under “live fire” in a real situation. Using Tom Peters’ phrase from ‘In Search of Excellence’… “Ready! – Fire! – Aim!”. Innovative companies use that approach… you can too.
Fear is best overcome by action! The fear of failure, or of proactively contacting someone you don’t know can best be put aside by following Nike’s advice: “Just Do It!” Invariably, the mental image of what will happen is far worse than the reality. Especially in today’s job market, you will find people willing to help you in some way because they understand it’s a difficult time to be looking for a job. Will you score a home-run, or even a base hit with every call? Of course not. However, the more calls you make, the more meetings you set, the more people you contact, the better you’ll get, and the better response you’ll get as well. Don’t let your fears stop you from doing what’s necessary.
Certainly prepare. However, don’t let your preparation time be the vast majority of your days and weeks in your job search. Get out and talk to people, make phone calls, share your resume, and connect! Don’t let “Analysis Paralysis” take hold of you in your search!