Developing A Professional Strategy May Aid Your Job Search
Job search is not easy; on the contrary, it is one of the most difficult things in life. One of the things that make job search hard is the fact that there is no roadmap to follow. People are just doing what they think they are supposed to do or are just going with the flow. In these scenarios, having a strategy would definitely help in order to effectively search for a job that would not only help you pay the bills, but is one that you generally like and enjoy.
However, while having a job search strategy would be quite helpful, developing that said strategy is another matter in itself. It raises a hundred questions, such as what is an effective strategy? What should the first step be? Will it really help? In order to help you out, and hopefully answer some of these questions, here are some tips on how to develop an effective professional strategy:
Figure out what you want
You can’t have what you want, if you don’t know what you want. Truer words haven’t been spoken. How can you go after something, if you don’t know what that is supposed to be? So, first things first, figure out what it is that you really want; both in terms of a job and from your long term career. What is it that exited you about your chosen profession? What kind of job do you really want? What are you looking to get out of that job?
Once you know what you want, or at least even if you have a general idea, then it is time to plan how to go about getting it. Try to make a 5-year plan and/or a 10-year plan. List down where you want to be in respect to your career during that time. How do you hope that your next position will help you achieve that? Try not to fixate on the details, we just need broad strokes which may help guide your path.
Once you know what you want, and what you are expecting out of it, it is now time to start your research. Is it even possible? For example, in 5 years you may want to become a millionaire. However, depending on your circumstance and your chosen career, that may not be feasible. So, do your research. Perhaps to get a job in your chosen field you may need more education. Hence, going back to school may have to become part of your 5 year plan. Research and confirm your 5 year and 10 year plans. Ensure that this is what you really want and that it will bring you the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that you are looking for. If not, adjust your plan accordingly. After all, it is better to find out the truth now rather than 3 years down the line.
Talk to Professionals
Primary research is any day better than secondary research. What this means is that while research will answer a number of your questions, it will only take you so far. There is something even better than research and that is personal experience. So talk to professionals in your chosen field and get some real life first person accounts. Ask them what they like about their profession and about their job. If the still like their job and are they still excited about their careers? What did they do to get where they are? Looking back, would they like to do anything differently? Get the real feel for the job. A number of management level professionals would happily let you shadow them for a day, so that you can see what the job it really like in all of its gritty glory.
Start your job search
Once you are sure that this is what you really what, then it is time to go after it. Start looking for jobs. If you reached out to professionals in the field, they would be able to tell you about any job openings they know of. Don’t just approach the big companies that you want to work with. Smaller companies and start-up may be a better fit for you and their jobs are often more challenging that lead to more experience.
Cast your net wide
- Network with professionals and head hunters. It is often great to know somebody who knows somebody. It really does make things easier.
- Send out cold e-mails introducing yourself and with a copy of your resume. You never know when your line may catch a bite.
- Visit the websites of the company you want to work for. They will often post about any vacancies they have on their websites under the heading of jobs or careers.
- Follow those companies on social media, as these days a number of companies are selecting people over social platforms.
- Connect with managers and HR professionals of these companies over these social platforms.
- Attend industry conferences and seminars and try and meet the speakers. Introduce yourself, ask for their advice, and if possible give them your card or resume.
- You can also try to apply for internships or part time positions in the companies you work for, in order to get your food in the door.