Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Jobsearch Road Map

For many of the jobseekers I have worked with, looking for work is a frustrating, overwhelming and tedious activity, and complain there is 'just so much to do!' and 'I just wish employers would give me a go!'

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Which route do you take?
I think of jobsearching as being very much like taking a road trip: if you know where it is you want to go, take the time beforehand to map out which routes you'll take in order to get there in the littlest amount of time and with the least amount of hassle, develop a contingency plan for if something unexpected occurs or goes awry, and once you set off on your road trip pace out your journey by completing one leg of the journey at a time and taking only necessary detours when required, you'll arrive at your destination safely and in good timing.

The jobseekers who become frustrated and complaint-filled often just jump straight in with only a vague  or no idea of where they want to go, making up their destination, route and back up plans 'on the fly', and become lost and burned out when the journey becomes prolonged and as they begin finding the jobsearch process overwhelming and tedious when using this all-or-nothing trip method because they aren't finding a job as quickly as they want.

I want you to re-read that last part 'aren't finding a job as quickly as they want'.

'A' job.

Can you see how a specific destination hasn't been decided upon?

Key Jobseeking Rule: Always follow a targeted jobsearch approach

Now unfortunately I can't reduce the problem of 'there is so much to do!', but following a targeted approach will resolve the problem of employers being prepared to give a jobseeker a go.

How do you follow a targeted jobsearch approach?

What can you do to target your jobsearch, so you get quicker and more favourable result?

First, know (or at least have a strong idea of) what type of work you want to do - then, the pre-planning of your jobsearch road trip can begin.

(Note: If you have two or more types of jobs that you want to apply for, start out by focusing on and planning just one job and then later pursue the others as part of your back up plan only if necessary - but be careful that you don't lose your targeted approach).

What planning do you need to do?
  • Assess your previous work and employment history* to determine what skills and attributes you already possess for that type of work
  • Research the industry, employers and position description to determine what skills and attributes are essential and desirable for this type of work
  • Assess if you have all the necessary skills and attributes and determine if you have any skills, experience or knowledge gaps.
  • Make a decision as to whether you are suitable for that type of work.  If not, consider a different type of work and repeat the above steps. If yes, what is your next step?  Do you need to bridge the skills gap, or can you start planning for when you will set out on your jobsearch road trip?
 * work does not have to be just paid employment - and job or situation where you have developed a skills is relevant

If you need to bridge the skills gap, you have a number of choices you can make:
  • Is there a course you can enrol in?
  • Are you able to voluntary work or work experience for a couple of months?
  • Are you able to get a foot into this type of work by doing an entry-level job?
  • Can you apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship so you get paid while learning?
If you can start planning for when you will set out on your jobsearch road trip (the actual applying for jobs), you still have a few things to consider before you set off:
  • Do you have a resume?  If no, do you know how to create one?  If yes, is it up to date and is it targeted and focused on the type of work you want to do?
  • Do you know how to write a cover letter? If no, how are you going to learn how to write an effective one?  If yes, do you tailor your cover letter to the specific job you apply for, or do you try to use a generic 'one-size-fits-all' approach?  (The one size-fits-all approach is not very effective, so you should seriously consider learning how to tailor them)
  • What are your Interview skills like?  Are you ready and confident if you get an invitation to attend an interview tomorrow?
  • Do you have Interview clothing, do you need to make child-care arrangements,do you know where to look for job vacancies, is there anything else you need to set into place before you start submitting applications?
  • Are you ready to make adjustments to your plan as you go?

Only when you are all packed and ready should you set off on your jobsearch road trip - but rest assured, you will arrive at your destination much happier because you bothered to plan to make your trip the best it could possibly be!

Has this article helped?  Why not share your thoughts by using the comments section below.

Happy, motivated jobseeking!

Char

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