It’s that time of year again: after putting it off, mulling it over, talking with friends and family, taking a few tentative stabs at it…you’ve decided to get a new job. But, after all the deep deliberation and discussions, you’re paralyzed. You simply have no idea where to start and despite all the information out there in the “twitterverse” about job search, you retreat.
Please don’t throw in the towel just yet, okay?
Let me offer you the most valuable and easy-to-follow guidance a job search coach can dish up: Tell the world you are now “exploring” and let the universe know that you’re here. Yes. It’s that simple to get the ball rolling.
Sitting at your desk in your current job or waiting at home for the phone to ring will likely get you nowhere if no one knows that you want a job. Sure, if you’re a software developer extraordinaire you’ll probably get a call from a recruiter. When there’s a huge demand for a specific type of talent, they get all the attention. But, in all likelihood, you’re reading this article because you’re not a software developer.
Whether you’ve been out of the workforce for a while or just stuck in a rut, your best chances of getting a new job are to rally yourself and follow the “Hello Universe Plan”:
Go job shopping on any job posting website (like www.Monster.com, www.CareerBuilder.com or even Craigslist) and find the job of your dreams. The great thing about job shopping is that there is no obligation to “buy”. Instead, you want to find job titles that appeal to you and read the job descriptions for key terms that map to your own experience. Jot those terms down and save them – you’ll want to integrate into your resume later.
Craft a short, simple paragraph that tells your story and identifies the job you want. Here’s an example:
I have years of experience teaching French to children and I am exploring opportunities where an employer can leverage my fluent French. I am especially intrigued by roles such as Bi-lingual Customer Service Representative, French Account Representative or French Instructor. My customer relationship management skills have been honed both inside and outside the classroom.
Make a list of your valued contacts – friends, family, friends-of-friend and anyone else who would enjoy a cup of coffee in your company (your treat of course). These are people who are invested in you and who want to help you. Email or call the people on your list and share your paragraph with them. Let them know you’re exploring and ask them to share their own job search experiences with you.
At soccer games, PTA meetings, wine tastings, social situations, mention that you’re exploring and share your story. Be clear, crisp and concise. You don’t need to share your entire work or life history. Glazed looks will follow if you over-share.
Putting your message out into the universe is just the first step. Of course you’ll need a resume and a LinkedIn profile and maybe even some interview coaching. But, for now, this simple act of getting the word out is a great start.
The universe needs a “you” in the workforce. It just needs to know where to find you.