1. Define your career goal by asking yourself these questions:
- Moving forward, what direction do I want to take my career?
- What are my qualifications, such as experience, education, and skills?
- What parameters do I want or need in a job?
- What culture do I want or need in a company?
Prioritize the answers to these questions, making note of what you might or won’t give up. Be open to options that exclude the explicit Director, President, Manager job titles. My Skills My Future shows you what is available according to your past and current job. However, it is a useful tool for discovering what else you qualify for. Drill down defining your career goal until you can summarize your objective.
2. Build your brand based on your summary objective and the education, ability, and skills. A TedTalk by Jason Shen targets, “Looking for job? Highlight Your Ability, Not Your Experience” Fill in your LinkedIn profile and hire professionals to create a resume and business cards. Now is not the time to be cheap! Career coaches and graphic and document designers know current trends and resources. Keeping track of how you connect; meet, greet, and collect business cards or contact information. Conferences, past and current jobs, volunteer work, universities, and social media are great places to connect. (Ideally, you keep this up even when you aren’t looking for the next job.) Your tag line, business card, and about page communicate your brand throughout your current and working network.
3. Track your connections on a spreadsheet or other table, including companies where you want to work, who and where your contacts are, and how you connected. Spreadsheets, such as the one below, help you keep track of your networking and job-hunting contacts.
Look up articles on the subject of networking and finding work.
4. Target jobs, using your network. It is not how hard you look as much as who you know that most likely gets you a job. Spread the word. Even if nothing immediately pops up, someone may remember you when a job opens. For starters, look for work through your sources:
- LinkedIn—”5 LinkedIn Tips To Use When Searching for the Perfect Job”
- Universities—dedicated listservs or Facebook pages for job postings and spreading the word you are in the market
- Professors and fellow graduated students—knowledge of field-related jobs with the possibility of a recommendation
- Volunteers you worked with
- Religious establishments—ministries, friends, staff
- Research—strengthen your search, reading articles on the subject of networking and finding work, such as the Forbes article, “How to Stay Motivated During Your Job Search”
- Indeed—job marketplace
- Google Jobs—multiple job search engines in one you can read about in Forbes article, “How to Use Google’s Job Search Feature to Land a Job”
Research companies that interest you, seeking contacts or job listings. Remember to update your spreadsheet or table to keep track of contacts and, also important, follow-ups.
Finally, don’t be discouraged if it takes time, and remember “How to Stay Motivated During Your Job Search.”
Now go find that perfect job!!