If you’ve been looking for a job unsuccessfully for a long time, you are not alone. However, just because you haven’t landed yet doesn’t mean a job isn’t just around the corner. One adage that is true for job seekers? If you’ve been doing the same thing, over and over again without achieving the results you want — it’s time to try some new things!
This month, the Career Collective (a community I co-coordinate with my colleague Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter) looks at how to re-tool, re-focus and generally re-organize your job hunt. It’s almost spring (at least on the calendar), so it’s as good a time as any to review your plans.
1. First thing to evaluate: does your target job exist?
Maybe this sounds obvious, but many jobs are not going to come back. Certain industries may never recover from the downturn, some positions are being replaced with automated systems or being sent overseas, and other jobs are going to contractors and short-term workers instead of permanent employees. (Temp to perm has become a reality for a lot of people.)
Even if you’re doing everything “right,” if you are looking for a job that doesn’t exist, you’re likely going to continue to be very frustrated. Your choice? Either a) hang a shingle (maybe a virtual shingle) and think about going into business for yourself as an independent contractor or b) read on!
2. Have you considered that it may be time to change career paths or directions altogether?
Even if your job “exists,” maybe things have changed and it doesn’t “exist for you.” It’s possible companies no longer want to pay for your experience and prefer to hire less skilled people to do the work. No matter the reason, maybe it’s time to think about a new career path.
Identify growth fields and careers and start researching to learn if you may be a good candidate for opportunities in the new industry. Make sure to target your resume and other materials to your new goal employer. (This is very important, as transitioning between fields is not an easy thing to do, especially when there is a lot of competition for jobs.)
One thing that may help is to have a strong online presence supporting your skills in your new targeted industry. A social resume (website), where you highlight your expertise and skills (maybe via a blog) can help attract interest in your abilities as they apply to a new field. Consider creating your social resume (YourName.com) I can help!
3. Have you been too picky?
Do you have a certain vision of the type of job you’re willing to do? Maybe you don’t even LIKE the work you did in the past, but you have your mind set on doing it again. Have you been too particular about the type of people or places where you want to work? (A 20-minute commute — absolutely not! Work for him – are you kidding? When pigs fly!) I am not suggesting you take just “any” job, but it may be a good time to take a good, long, hard look at what you want and decide if you need to change your goals.
Maybe a longer commute is worth it if you can land a job at X company or in Y field or industry. Decide what parameters you can change and refocus your search with new vigor. You never know how opening up a few new windows may result in an open door.
Take a look at how my colleagues responded to this month’s question below and follow our posts on Twitter via the hashtag #CareerCollective.
Personal Branding to Fire Up Your Job Search, @DebraWheatman
Succeeding in a “Final Jeopardy!” World, @WalterAkana
5 Steps to Retool & Jumpstart Your Job Search, @erinkennedycprw
Your Job Search: Let’s Just Start Again Shall We? @GayleHoward
Checklist for Spring Cleaning Your Job Search, @careersherpa
5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman
Ten Surefire Ways to Organize Your Job Search, @KatCareerGal
Put Spring Into Your Job Search, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland
Toes in the Water, @ValueIntoWords
How to Revitalize a Stale Job Search, @KCCareerCoach
How to re-think your job search, @Keppie_Careers
Wake Up and Smell the Flowers: Spring Cleaning Your Resume, @barbarasafani
Spring Cleaning and Your Personal Brand, @resumeservice
Spring clean your mind clutter first, @DawnBugni
photo by Werner Kunz (werkunz1)