No we aren’t going to offer suggestions about how to find your next job (although there is a link below to the best book on the subject we know of – the classic “What Color is Your Parachute”). The point of this post is to share some of the key features of successful job hunters we have observed over many years of counseling folks in transition.
First and foremost, take care of yourself. Do what it takes to avoid depression. There is nothing that makes job hunting harder than being depressed. We were inspired to write this post after, once again, doing a debriefing with a client who finally, after about a year, landed a good job. What we found was that the reason he succeeded was that he took some actions (exercising, reaching out to friends) that improved his mood and then he found that his efforts at finding work suddenly became much more effective.
Second, keep yourself mentally challenged. One of the hard parts of being out of work is that all of a sudden we are missing the kind of intellectual challenges and rewards that a career provides you with. Gradually this results in a loss of confidence in one’s ability to handle difficult problems. The most successful job hunter we ever met always divided his efforts in half – half of his time he spent looking for work (or maybe just a bit less than half time… it is really hard to devote more than 3 hours a day to looking for work productively), and the other half of the time he spent taking classes, or acquiring new skills. The result was that he always felt he was improving himself during times he was out of work… whereas most of us feel we are slowly losing our skills.
Reply to this post with some of your best strategies… and check out the books we have highlighted.
- What Color Is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles (Author)
- Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry
- What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles