Job Search Tips

Apr 07, 2014

An interview with a Connection Corner Member who is an expert in organization performance and process


How did you plan your job search?

I looked at it as a project - with a beginning and an eventual end. I set out with major activities and then managed the tasks I would need to do to accomplish those activities. I signed up for job search alerts on both job boards and specific companies. I documented everything. It helped to make me feel like I was accomplishing something.
I thought about both companies I would like to work for and also the types of roles that I was interested in. I made a list of criteria that was important to me in my next role like geography for example - I wanted something within a 30-minute drive.

What worked best for you in keeping your morale up during a search?

Honestly it is a bit of faith. It is following a process, doing everything you need to do and putting one foot in front of the other. Moving forward and knowing that eventually you get will where you need to be. And, where you need to be may be different from your expectations. It is having an open mind. But you have to keep moving forward. There were definitely days when I was frustrated and feel down. You have to manage your self -talk when you get negative and just know that this is your journey and it is getting you somewhere. You just don't know where. But you keep on networking - trying to talk to people and things just start to work.

How did you divide up your time between current job and job search time?

It was a struggle at times. To be honest, I stopped striving for perfection at work. I did just what I had to in order to allow me time to search a bit during the day and then be able to do it at night. Of course during the day is when you meet people and network. You have to manage your own expectations at work and know that you may not be able to deliver the same results as you did before. But be ok with it knowing that if you spend more energy looking that you will get a new job faster. That was a mistake I made in the beginning. I didn't spend enough time looking so overall I felt that that process took forever.

How important was networking?

Extremely important. I do not consider myself a "networking" type of individual.. But I framed it up as meeting people to find out what they do and share my interests. I also wanted to find out more about organizations. People are generally terrific about sharing their time. And now that I have found my new role my attitude is also "pay it forward" as you never know when it is going to be you in that position. So start with your group of people - however large and ask them if they know people and you will be amazed at how large your group grows.

How important was LinkedIn for leveraging contacts?

Very important. LinkedIn did more for me than anything - more than any headhunter or job board.

Did it make you empathetic to other people searching - would you take the time more for others in their job searches since your experience?

Definitely. Call it karma or "paying it forward". So many people were helpful to me during my search. You just never know when you will need the help.

What advice would you give for the resume - what made the difference for highlighting your strengths?

People liked how I set it up - the design of it - I think it looked a little less bland or generic. I think keeping it short and telling more of a story of overall accomplishments vs. every little detail. People want things to be obvious - the connection between moves and why you were in a role. They don't want to have to read between the lines.

What advice would you give in interviewing?

Let your personality shine through. It will eventually so you want to know if you are going to get along with your new boss.
Prepare. It really helps to have a good sense of self and be clear about your strengths.
Honesty - showing transparency.

How important is it to keep up other good habits like exercise and peaceful time in a busy life with job, child and job search management?

Very important - keeps you balanced and make you feel like it is more about a journey vs. the urgency of getting a new job. I think if you feel too much urgency then you risk making a decision that may not be based on the right criteria.

Is there anything else that you would share with others during a job search?

Checking in with yourself throughout the process. See what is working, what is not. Where are the gaps? Are you keeping an open mind to companies, roles, and industries? Every day - what is the one little or big thing that can help you move forward?
Stay positive. It is frustrating. It is daunting but you can learn a lot along the way.


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