If you haven’t heard or read it yet, we are approaching the highest unemployment figures in 12 years here in Australia, with possibly more difficult employment periods ahead of us.
Now more than ever it is important to work smarter, not harder, or you will end up joining the queue of unemployed job seekers.
However, if you do find yourself looking for work, here are 10 job search strategies to simplify your job search:
#1 Get your mind in shape.
If you follow sports a bit, you will know that only those sport stars who have their mental game in shape before a big event score the medals and trophies. It’s really the same for job seekers. It’s very important to be in a good frame of mind before a job search. I always ask my clients to consider beginning an exercise routine, reading quality self-help books, listening to mind shaping podcasts, finding an outlet that you enjoy, eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and anything else that helps you to make yourself feel better and to reduce stress. A positive, fighting, ‘can do’ attitude is the key to success.
#2 Ignore the statistics.
I regularly read about statistics, such as employed people work an average of 7.5 hours per day and get 8.67 hours of sleep. If these figures don’t exactly apply to you, what makes you think that national unemployment averages do? So, don’t get distracted or discouraged next time you hear that it’s tough to find a job. Remember, the unemployment rate is only a broad indicator of the job market. Even in an apparently bad job market, people get job offers every day. You could be one of the guys getting an offer.
#3 Don’t be silly – Be realistic!
I regularly encounter feedback on social media from job seekers who believe that their phone will start ringing when they begin the job search. Honestly guys – reality check! When was the last time someone called you with a job opportunity? Dreams, unlike eggs, don’t hatch from sitting on them.
#4 Money isn’t everything.
Some people waive opportunities if they don’t provide big money. The fact is, every experience is an investment in your future. If you leave your job, you’ll take that experience with you and try and cash it in for a bigger prize. Search with realistic salary expectations or you will burn a lot of ground and opportunities. This may mean accepting a lower paying position than you were hoping for.
#5 Put yourself in the employer’s shoes.
Would you rather hire someone referred by a person you trust or receive a resume from someone unknown? So, network…network…network.
#6 Don’t network just because you need a job.
Unfortunately, too many jobseekers treat networking like a pinball machine in which progress is measured by the number of people they run into rather than the quality of the underlying relationships. Don’t be silly – just handing out more business cards and adding more friends to Facebook or LinkedIn is “wrongworking”. These “wrongworkers” don’t seem to understand the importance of building genuine relationships. Instead, they’ll reach out to others only when they need something themselves and then they’re surprised when their requests produce little or no result. So guys, don’t wait until you desperately need a network to begin developing one. Networks are built on genuine trust, genuine respect, and genuine personal chemistry — and that “genuine stuff” doesn’t happen overnight. In contrast to pinball style wrongworking, members of a genuine network will be more likely to offer advice, set you up for an informational interview or grant a referral.
#7 Always have a backup plan.
If you planned a BBQ and it started raining, you’d probably bring the barbie under cover. So, if Plan A doesn’t go exactly as expected, be prepared to deal with the unexpected. Don’t be stubborn or lazy and more importantly modify and check your expectations regularly. A longer commute, lower salary, or accepting a different type of job than the one you had your mind set on are all examples. This is your Plan B. It doesn’t mean that you should necessarily settle for the first opportunity but it most likely means you may have to compromise. And who knows … maybe Plan B will work out better for you anyway.
#8 Go with the flow, don’t fight the currents.
If you live in Australia and you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, than you’ll know that rip currents are powerful channel currents of water flowing away from the shore. We regularly hear of people who are swept out and get into trouble by trying to fight their way back and swimming against the current. That’s how people drown, from exhaustion and panic. The fact is people who remain calm and swim parallel to the shore swim out of the current and to safety. The same is true with a job search. Remember to go with the flow and don’t panic.
#9 Stop measuring for quick success.
Some people beat themselves up if they don’t get a job in a month or two. My second coaching suggestion to all my clients is don’t concentrate on getting the job. Instead, focus on the quality job search activity that you generate. Every good interview or meeting with a member of your network brings you one step closer to your goal. Make sure to celebrate your small successes regularly, like getting an interview or even something as simple as proper feedback on your application. You deserve it.
#10 It takes two to tango.
Some applicants tend to be obsessed with the idea that potential employers hold all the cards during the hiring process. The fact is that all businesses are seeking to find great talent as much as you want a great employer. Be selective. It’ll be a win-win proposition.
A job search doesn’t have to be an all negative experience. It’s the beginning of a new opportunity and maybe even an exciting new one. Brush off the stigma and the pre-set ideas that being a jobseeker is a negative! It is not! Focus, but don’t forget to have some fun. Start by reconnecting with members of your network. Once you’ve landed the new role, remember your experiences. You can then lend a helpful hand to someone else in need.
I could wish you good luck, but you won’t need it. You’ll be making your own. Do your best to get your heart and mind in shape and remember to hunt wisely!