Are you looking for a job? If you are, I bet you've received advice from many people–whether or not you wanted it. Here are my three secret ingredients for a successful search:
Secret #1: Create a system that works for you.
I happen to like personal kanban inside one-week timeboxes. I've described that in Manage Your Job Search. That approach supports you doing small chunks of work and obtaining feedback.
If you prefer another approach, that's fine. As long as you choose a system that works for you, and you stick with it.
Organizing your work, seeing it all in one place, and knowing what you have to do next is a key piece of your successful job search. A job search is an emergent project. You can't plan it all at once. As long as your system works and you can see progress every day, you will succeed.
Secret #2: Create a target networking list.
I meet too many people who think that as long as they meet people for lunch, have informational interviews, or network with people at professional group meetings, that is enough. This is background networking.
No. That is not enough. You need to think about your target network.
You need to write your target network companies down on a piece of paper, and decide how you will meet people on your target network every day. Turn that decision into what I call “ToDo's”, and now you have a way to make progress on your networking.
If you always do background networking, you will not find your next job. You need to market yourself to people with whom you want to work. You can find your job through loose connections, but you need to know who to ask those people to connect you to. You need a target list.
Secret #3: Iterate on Everything
As you search for a job, you will realize, “I can improve my resume,” or “I had a better answer to that interview question,” or even, “I should ask this other person to be a reference.” You are a work in progress. Iterate!
This is one of the reasons I like personal kanban inside one-week timeboxes so much. If you build in reflection points every week, you can retrospect each week. I suggest you run your weeks Wednesday to Wednesday, so you still have your weekends available. This is a project, as any other project is. You are your own project manager here.
Bonus Secret #4: Persevere
I said you would get three secrets, but the fourth one is perseverance. If you don't stick with your system, your target networking, and iterating (trying things to see what works and what doesn't), you won't succeed. You keep moving, one day at a time.
I hope you find these tips useful. If you do, buy Manage Your Job Search. You will find much more in the book that helps you in your job hunt. Good luck!
I'm celebrating! My newest book, Manage Your Job Search is available everywhere, both the ebook and the print version.
Starting April 10, I'll be hosting a series of launch special calls about Manage Your Job Search.
If you would like to join the calls, please see my celebration page.
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© 2014 Johanna Rothman