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CAUTION Rough Road Ahead

Well the holidays are passing and Christmas is right around the corner. After that a New Year will be upon us. Resolutions are getting very old but there is something about starting a new year that makes us want to do or try something different, doesn’t it?

Anything new can be a challenge. No matter what it is there are bound to be bumps in the road. Are you ready to handle the bumps? I am not sure if life is about how we manage the good things that happen to us or how we manage the bumps. I will tell you when I figure it out. What I can tell you is you will experience some rough road ahead when you make a change. There will be excitement, fear, frustration, doubt, dreamy times and everything in between. It will happen and you can count on it.

So this post is a reminder that rough road is ahead with a job search. It is going to get rough because that is the way things go. Some days are great and other days are horrible. This up and down movement in our emotions helps to keep us on track. So when it gets rough, you will know you are moving in the right direction. Hold strong during the rough part and plan the way you are going to handle it. If you plan ahead, it won’t be so rough on you. No planning will be a recipe for potential failure.

You can do whatever you want to make a change at. If it is a job change, push ahead and I wish you well.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Failure First

I just wanted to thank everyone who has been visiting my blog for job search thoughts, career advice and suggestions. I really appreciate your time. I hope my ideas and words are heard as words of encouragement and action. I believe in you, your hopes and dreams. Go after those dreams with all of your might and you will never be disappointed, especially when you fail. Failure first; success follows.

Thanks again and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Holiday Time, Keep Searching

Thanksgiving begins the really busy time of year for many of us. Don’t put off the job search because it is busy. This is when you need to continue your efforts no matter how busy you get. It is an easy trap to fall in to say: “I think I am going to wait until next year to find a job…I am just too busy.” I believe this is a mistake.

It is a mistake because there is no better time than right now to look for a job. If you are just thinking about starting, use this as your trial or practice period. This is when you can make all the mistakes before you get that really good one you want.

In addition, with parties and gift giving and running into people you haven’t seen in a while, this is the perfect time to discuss you job search plans. You may be attending the “once a year” party and meet up with someone you would never of seen in January. If you are “not looking” for a job, then you will not be thinking about connecting with others as you will when you really do start looking.

So if you are still looking, don’t stop through the holidays. If you are just starting, don’t put it off until the holidays are over. These are both mistakes and will set you back at least 2 months or longer.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

The Two P’s

Patience and persistence are my most endearing aspirations. If you possess either of these you are a “top notcher.” If you have both, I really admire you. To possess both is to be able to handle virtually EVERY challenge you face in life.

Strive for persistence when you feel like you are spinning your wheels. The time will pass and you will look back with great admiration that you “made it” through. Don’t quit at the most challenging time.

Patience is key and can really help you make a change go smoothly. If you plan far enough ahead, it is easy to be patient with the time it takes to be successful. If you don’t plan ahead, being patient is a real challenge. Give yourself time to work out the kinks in you plan. This will allow you to make good, solid decisions when it is most important.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Donut, Coffee and Job Leads?

Many years ago the way you found a new job was to get together with your friends or co-workers or family wherever you frequented. Maybe it was over a donut, maybe coffee or even a meal at someone’s home. Wherever it was, you got together with your “trusted advisers” and hammered out a plan. Sometimes it was easy, other times it wasn’t but you knew this was where the business of the search began.

Now we have the internet and email and headhunters and hr departments and recruiting practices and databases and networking sites and on and on…This entire industry had its start networking face to face. Even today, if you ask virtually anyone where they found the current job they are doing, the majority of them and you would say from a connection you made. Many times this “connection” you made was from out there somewhere that you never planned.

Jobs are found on the internet and through postings and recruiting firms, yes. But don’t underestimate the power of spending some time with a friend, co-worker or family member over food and drink. This activity is still the most effective way to find a new job opportunity. It should be the first activity ones does before everything else combined. Set up one meal with a new person every day for two weeks and see where it goes. I guarantee you will get results or your money back. Maybe the results are you helping them right now. Maybe you give first…

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Feast or Famine

Job searching is weird many times. It is weird because sometimes I can do the simplest activities and get the greatest results. Other times I do the most difficult and time consuming activities and get nothing. That is the essence of feast or famine. There really is no explanation for it. It is just the way it is sometimes.

There is no explanation because there are many, many factors in play with any job search. Many of the factors can be discovered with good questioning of the job posting owner but most are under cover. I believe there really is a job out there for everyone no matter what your background is. The challenge is finding it within the time frame you need.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Now or January?

Wow, where has the year gone? I know it is not over yet but when we get past the trick or treaters and close to Turkey Day, the vacation and end of year activities, December 31st is fast approaching.

Do you start a job search now or wait until January 2008? START NOW!! Don’t make any excuses on starting to look for a new job. The best jobs are found any time of the year. Don’t put off until January because many times when January comes around, there could be another reason to put it off again.

Use this time to get your resume tweaked or re-written, start putting your contact list together and start telling others you are thinking about exploring your options. This will get you started. There is always an initial phase of activity in any job search that is overlooked and can be done before the new year begins. This will also give you some practice time to refine your pitch. If someone is hiring you well be out there when many other people are waiting. If nothing else, you will be ready for the perceived onslaught of job openings in January with the new year budgets.

Don’t wait; there is not time like right now to get started!!

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Hire Help?

When is a good time to hire someone to assist you with your job search is a great question. The answer is not quite so easy to give. Hiring outside people to assist you on your search has its limitations. This is what I do for a living and know the challenges. The first one is the person you hire is probably not the best person for the job. It is your career and you know it better than ANYONE else. You know what projects you have worked on and enjoyed. You know the jobs you have hated and loved. You know it with the most intimate of details. No one you can hire will be able to take the place of you selling yourself.

A second limitation is that it does cost (sometimes) a lot of money to hire someone. The main reason is because of the volume of work involved in any person’s search. The job search managers and coaches are looking to “make a living” by helping you and they need to make a living at it. Finding a client who is realistic on their “marketability” is tough and if they are realistic, they know it may take a while to find the right job fit.

So when do you hire someone to help. There are a few good things to keep in mind when hiring someone. The first is time. If you are short on time to really work on your resume, search for jobs, call and email potential leads and provide ample follow up activities you may need some help. If you haven’t searched for a job in years as you been at the same company for a long time, this may be a good time to find some help. You may be wanting to change industries or job functions. This type of work is very challenging. Lastly, you may just need someone to bounce ideas off of and provide suggestions on what to do next.

All these are good reasons to look to hire someone to assist you. There are more but always remember that the best person to sell your skills and abilities is yourself. Hiring someone will just give you support when the going gets rough as well as creative ideas on what to do next.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Just Work Mondays

Here is a suggestion….if you are out of work and job searching, just do it for 12 hours on Monday and react the rest of the week. Then when you get to Friday, plan the work you are going to do on the following Monday. With this strategy you can minimize the frustration with finding work.

How does this type of schedule minimize the frustration you ask? It does in two ways. The first is by limiting the amount of time you do cold work. Cold work is some of the most effective activity you can do to uncover job opportunities. This may mean cold calling companies you want to work for or cold calling people in your network to inform them you are looking for a new job opportunity. This cold work is the work we fret over when searching for opportunities. The reason we fret over it is because we think every day we are not doing it but we SHOULD be, over time this ping-pong mentality will defeat all our purposes.

I know this sounds a little weird but why not give it a try. Do all the cold work you have been putting off every time you sit and start job searching. Do it all on Monday. Once your 12 hours shift is over, you can be relieved to not have to do it again for another six days. The rest of the week, do the normal activities you have been doing like working on your resume, visiting job boards and company websites, reading books on job searching, etc. Or better yet, don’t do anything else and wait to see what happens with your Monday work.

Try it for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Only do the cold work on Mondays.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Arrogance or Confidence?

When you are searching for a job there is a fine line between arrogant behavior and confident behavior. Don’t be arrogant. If you are in the gray area between the two behaviors, get out. Many times arrogance cannot be self discovered. You may need some help with it. We all know your attempt is to project a confident manner with all the people you come in contact with on your job search path. Your intent is not to put others down or make people feel less of themselves or inferior when speaking with you. This may be your intent but it is not what is being observed and you know it.

This is very important in the job search because many times arrogance comes from ones need to hide a weakness from onlookers. In order to protect this weakness you keep others at a distance or “arms length” so they won’t uncover that which they are trying to keep hidden. This type of “hiding” behavior will eventually catch up with you so catch it now so you can correct it before it gets too deep seated.

If you know you turn people off and you don’t care, I would encourage you to re-think that strategy. It may have been working well for you all these years, but isn’t it getting tougher and tougher to keep up? Life has a way of breaking you down in many ways if you don’t work on the weaknesses you have. Don’t run away from this one. Find out where your weakness is and work on it. If you do it now, it won’t be so difficult to do when it pokes its little head again in the future; because it will!

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff