4 steps to kick off your job search

JULIE CHASE | FEBRUARY 27, 2020

Did you make resolutions or set goals for 2020? Was one of them to get a new job? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, more than 30% of employees plan to change jobs this year.

Have you started your search? If not, why? I know why…because it’s overwhelming to think about all the things you need to do. Last year my goal was to get in shape and guess what — it didn’t happen. At the end of the year I reflected on the why (while trying to practice self-compassion and kindness) and there were several reasons — but what it boiled down to was that I prioritized other goals instead.

This year I know I’m going to achieve my fitness goal. Belief is the foundation to any goal — without it, it’ll die on the vine. Of course, it has to be accompanied with action. Thinking about ALL the steps can be paralyzing, so that’s why I love this quote: “Big journeys begin with small steps.”

All you really need to do is take one small step toward your goal and then another — and pretty soon you’ll see your progress, get excited and want to do more. For me, the first few steps were researching gyms, signing up and going to a class. I’m now going a few times a week, have built greater endurance and feel lighter — which makes me even more committed to my goal.

Here are a few steps you can take to kick off your job search:

Step 1: Block time and get support

The number one excuse for not doing something is “I don’t have enough time.” The true reason is that you prioritized something else over it (like binge watching the entire last season of Homeland — been there, done that). The best and easiest step you can do is to block out 4 hours a week to work on your job search. Pick two days and schedule two hour blocks of “Job searching” and make it recurring.

Tell your family and closest friends about your goal. Or even better, see if you can find a buddy who’s interested in doing the same thing and hold each other accountable for each step.

Step 2: Determine what’s most important to you

Spend the first few sessions reflecting on what you’ve liked and disliked about past roles and companies. Assess your strengths, weaknesses and skills. Think about compliments you’ve received from colleagues as well as feedback on development areas. These exercises will reveal insights that will help you define the criteria that’s most important to you in a role and a company.

Brainstorm a list of roles and companies you’re interested in. Read through best companies to work for lists and job descriptions to give you some ideas. Do light research on companies like reading Glassdoor reviews, looking at their website or checking out their social media activity.

Step 3: Craft and practice your story

It’s critical to be able to articulate who you are, what you do, the impact you make and how you’re unique. Whether it’s your high level elevator pitch or how you’re walking someone through your career, you should highlight the experiences and accomplishments that are most relevant to what you’re pursuing.

Literally write down your story and read it aloud — this will help you refine it to make it more conversational. Rather than memorize it, create a list of talking points for each job. Then practice it with friends and colleagues. See what resonates and what questions they have. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become!

Step 4: Network strategically

Before reaching out to people, determine what outcomes you want such as learning about a company, getting a referral or getting introduced to a hiring manager. Leverage LinkedIn — the most powerful tool for networking. Search for the company you’re interested in and see what connections you have. Check out 2nd degree ones — and ask mutual connections for an introduction.

Don’t dismiss acquaintances or dormant ties and don’t overestimate your close ties — you never know who’s going to become your greatest advocate. Also don’t rely on one contact, go wide and build a strong network. Don’t feel embarrassed or bad about asking for help — instead come from a place of gratitude, it’ll make all the difference.

Whatever your goal is for the year, it’s absolutely achievable. Taking a small first step is a huge leap toward success. You’ve got this!

If one of your goals for 2020 is to make a strategic career move, then please reach out to us. We’d love to talk about your goals and how we can help you achieve them with speed, ease and success!