Job Search Basics

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

A client wondered why she hasn’t gotten a job yet.  She thinks she’s done all she can, and is frustrated and depressed.

I reminded her of a few things:

  • She’s looking for a very high level job and they are scarce even in good job markets.
  • The “right fit” job is out there for her, it just hasn’t appeared yet.
  • She’s getting ready for this next move and there is some attitude adjustment she can do.
  • Network, network, network!!

A lot of networking has to be done in person. LinkedIn networking is part of an overall networking strategy.  The goal is to talk to someone on the phone or see them in person, if you can.

Who else do you know who you can ask for advice and guidance on your search? Even if they can’t give you much input, maybe they know someone you could talk to. It’s people who know your work, your character, your values who will refer you on.

If someone doesn’t help, simply move on to the next person. Be like Teflon and don’t let emotions like anger, resentment, disappointment and hurt stick to you – Job search is a combination of action and attitude.

We need to know the right actions to take and we need to manage our emotions and attitude toward our search. One affects the other:

  • If I feel down and take an action, I tend to feel better about myself and that gives me strength to take another action.
  • When the actions lead to a dead end of some sort, it’s natural to feel deflated, and it takes some time to adjust to the idea that there are other possibilities for me to pursue.

I have adapted the saying “when one door closes, another opens” to say “and there’s a dark hallway in between, that has a number of doors and windows that I will feel and check to see if they are the right place for me.” Every step is a step closer to your goal…it’s hard to keep that faith, which is why it’s called “faith” – belief in something without proof or tangible evidence.

During my two-year job search, I lost faith several times. I got so depressed, and thought “when I feel my worst, I have to pretend I’m at my best! How can I do that?” Well, I did. I had no choice. I had to keep looking, because I had to find a job. So I’d pick myself up and apply for that job, and talk to that person, and vent to another person. One foot in front of the other. I developed stamina and fortitude and great interviewing skills – and I got clearer and clearer about what I wanted to do.

After two years, I got the very job I wanted. It was a huge leap in responsibility and scope – the right next step in my career, and my “right fit” job. Looking back, I realized I’d been preparing to take that leap by doing whatever it took to find the right job for me. I had to use those skills every day in my new position – knowing that I could handle anything that came my way.

So leave no stone unturned! Apply for that job. Send your cover letter to your contact in the company.  Call that person you just thought of. Send that e-mail you’ve been meaning to send. Persistence is a great attribute to have in a job search.

Attitude, action, applying, persistence, networking, leaving no stone unturned, having faith and confidence that you’ll find your “right fit” work: these are the elements of successful job search. At least a triathlon!