I have often considered the question, What makes an elite job hunter stand out from the rest? During the development of my book, How to Find a Job in 6 weeks, I used my experience as a human resources professional to research and find out what makes elite job hunters click and more successful at finding jobs. The answer was not surprising and 7 key habits were found to commonly illustrate their effectiveness in finding jobs.
1. Successful Job Search Skills Knowledge
Your very first objective when you have lost your job is to get another job. Now that may sound a bit straightforward but it isn’t. To get another job today requires special knowledge and skill;
- Ability to tap into the hidden job market
- Successful behavioural interview skills
- Good letter writing ability with a marketable resume
2. Strong Financial Management Initiatives
Money management is certainly an area of great stress during redundancy or job loss. This is because your comfort zone has been taken away from you. The weekly or fortnightly pay you have relied upon is no longer there and you are concerned about where your next pay is coming from. I have seen this scenario cause great stress to people with debts, mortgages, and young families particularly where there is only a single income earner. Developing strong financial initiatives will stretch your savings over a longer period and take the pressure off money matters so you can focus on job search.
3. Flexible and Open Career Re-assessment
My advice in this instance is get out of your comfort zone whatever you do! Too many people I have helped in their career transition have hindered their job search prospects by sticking to old beliefs and methods of approach. It has to do with familiarity and what people know best, a type of comfort zone holding you prisoner within an electric fence. Once you have lost your job your life will change from despair to opportunity.
I say this because it’s a perfect opportunity to try something new and different. That’s right, you have nothing to lose now and you can experiment and try new ideas and concepts. Stretch yourself and become excited with the thought that everything you have always dreamed of doing outside your steady and regular job has now arrived. It is time to try to test new ideas, experiment with new concepts or see where your hobbies will take you. I commenced writing my book to keep me busy when I lost my job.
4. Mental Toughness and a Strong Belief System
Losing your job is one of the toughest events that can happen to you in life. All of a sudden your standard of living, prosperity and your perception of yourself is challenged. Not easy thoughts to deal with on a daily basis.
If you have a family with young children and a mortgage like the majority of us, matters can get worse because others dear to you and reliant upon your steady employment are also affected. There is nothing like coming home to your partner and informing them you no longer have a suitable job and watching their jaw drop all the way to the ground in a split second.
I learned very quickly that being sorry for myself was not going to help me and what had happened in my previous job was over and done with. I could not change the past but I could ensure that the present and future be better managed with a new way of thinking. The best way to get another job is to stay focused and challenged, to be mentally tough. If you cannot do this for yourself then do it for your loved ones who rely on you. Many authors describe this situation of downward spiraling anxiety and depression as ‘learned helplessness’. You believe that no matter what you do, nothing can help you out of your current situation, and that you are destined for doom and failure.
5. Managing your Current Job
I have made it very clear in my book that good jobs are hard to find today and that the oversupply of good candidates ensures that employers have the upper hand at recruitment. This is what we are dealing with in the new millennium and sometimes we may lose sight of this and feel that the grass is greener on the other side.
Working as a professional employee relations practitioner for many years, I have seen many people leave good jobs simply because they were not good at managing or keeping their current employment. I don’t mean that you should give up better opportunities, far from it. I am referring to those who have left their employment in difficult circumstances or were not entirely happy with their workplace circumstances at the time. It is easier for us to lose our composure rather than think a situation through rationally during difficult circumstances.
6. Establishing your Professional Network
Networking can be a critical job search skill often ignored by job hunters. The best time to network is when your employed and this can be achieved on a regular basis by attending industry groups and seminars, profiling in linked in and other social media, and maintaining contacts with colleagues and recruiters you have built relationships over many years. These simple methods will keep you in touch with your professional community and by dedicating up to one hour per week to this activity will grow your network over time until its established.
7. Mapping out your Vision and Building a Plan
A good technique in getting to know your career goals better is to map out your vision for the future and to extrapolate where you see yourself in 5 years from now. When we are in career transition mode it is a good time to reflect upon what we really want to achieve in life. Be open with yourself and review the sort of things that motivate you with great passion.
In just one sentence, write your vision – that is, where you would like to see yourself in 5 – 10 years from now. For example, I would like to be self-employed and running my own business successfully so that I can have more time to myself.
How will you get there
Write down how you are going to achieve your vision, that is, what are your milestones going to be or what do you need to do to get there. For example, do you need more training in a particular area, equity to launch your vision, support from people close to you? Just list them below with your time frame
- Tips for Job Hunters (everestcollege.wordpress.com)