The economy sucks.
There are a lot of people unemployed.
It is the summer.
While all of the above are true the CAN NOT justify a slow/stalled search. I have spoken with hundreds of job-seekers and there is one common thread with people who say that their search has stalled. The thing that these (and most job-searchers) have in common is:
there is no plan
Quite simply put, most people do not know how to effectively run a job-search.
Of course, many of you reading will say “that’s stupid, I have a plan”, but do you really have a plan? How do you measure progress with your plan? How do you set goals with your plan.
Most people don’t – their definition of the “job-search process” is a set of loosely linked activities, more specifically, the process is usually described as:
“I write a resume and cover letter, post the resume on all the major and niche job-boards, then I search the job listings.”
The problem is, without a process you can follow, you are basing your search more on luck than anything else. Still don’t believe me?
Here is another analogy. You have two friends that want to lose 40 pounds (say to lower their high blood pressure that is a result of a long job search).
You have to bet which one will lose the weight in two months.
You ask both of them to describe their plan/process.
Friend 1 says “I need to exercise more and eat less bad food, so I will join a gym and workout until I lose that 40 pounds”.
Friend 2 says “I need to exercise more and eat less bad food, so I have created a week-by week plan for the two months with weekly goals and I will also track my calories and find a gym that will help me develop a plan to help lose the weight”.
Now which one would you bet on?
What if the bet were now $10,000?
Why $10,000? Well if you make $60K a year then two months salary is worth roughly $10,000. So if you are out of work for two months, the opportunity cost (what you would have been paid if you were working) is $10,000.
Now who would you bet on?
If you were honest, you would bet on Friend 2. Why? Because he has a plan and a process to lose the weight that is measurable, while Friend 1 has a very-high-level approach.
Unfortunately, 99% of the folks I speak with are much more like Friend 1 than Friend 2 in their job-search.
In this environment simply ‘working harder’ is not enough, you must work smarter, and working smarter means a detailed job-search plan/process.
Still think that detailing out the process is ‘overkill’?
Are you serious about your search or are you really faking-it and kidding-yourself?
Finding a job is tough enough but adding the current economy into the picture and the large number of unemployed looking, you have to be serious about your search. And if you are serious you need a detailed plan and process.
Of course you could simply waste time writing and re-writing your resume or spend hours/days/weeks searching the job-boards. That’s what most people are doing.
What are you doing?