While I get asked fairly often about my “success rate” as a career coach, it’s a nearly impossible question to answer, since there are so many different variables one would have to pin down in order to respond to this question in a meaningful way.
Some of the people who work with me, for example, are incredibly motivated to find employment and are channeling 40 or more hours a week into the process. Others may already be employed and are only hunting on a part-time basis, perhaps but an hour or two each week, and aren’t in any huge rush to find something — or are being incredibly selective about what they might consider accepting. And others, still, don’t come to me for “job search assistance” at all, but hire me to work on other related things such as personal branding, career direction, self-employment exploration, their networking skills, etc.
All of this being said, though, there are no two ways about it:
This last two weeks has seen a WHIRLWIND of success stories circulating around the Career Horizons community!!!
I just ran the tally in my client database, in fact, and no fewer than 11 clients of the firm have reported landing a new job over the past two weeks. This is typically the number I’d expect to see in perhaps a full 30 days of activity, more or less, so the fact that we’ve hit this number only 12 days into July bodes extremely well — and suggests that some kind of bounce is taking place out there in the market, boosting the number of opportunities available. It also thoroughly dispels the old notion (which may have been credible once upon a time) that the economy slows down in the summer and companies don’t hire many people in June, July, or August. So if you’ve been using this as your excuse to not hunt for work very aggressively this past month or two, you’ll need to come up with a new rationalization strategy!
At any rate, in celebration of this exciting wave of news, I wanted to throw out a few pointers/reminders worth sharing both for those people who HAVE landed new assignments lately — as well as for those who are still on the hunt.
IF YOU’VE LANDED A NEW JOB RECENTLY…
• Make sure to contact every person in your network who helped in your search, even in some small capacity, to share the good news and thank them for their support. This professional step lifts everybody’s spirits, deepens your relationship with them, and will help ensure these people would be willing to help you again, down the road.
• Close the loop on any other opportunities or engagements you have brewing, assuming it’s no longer appropriate to move forward with them. Don’t be a schmuck and just drop the ball on people.
• Think hard about the lessons you learned along the way during your job search. What key insights about job hunting and career success did you gain? What did you learn about yourself and how you handle transition? What new habits (e.g. spending less, keeping your skills sharp, maintaining your network, etc.) do you want to make sure you maintain, going forward, to keep your marketability in tip-top shape?
• Commit to not being a jerk when hiring other people. In other words, if you’ve been incredibly frustrated (like so many professionals today) by the flakiness, rigidity, and/or lack of follow-up from the employers you’ve been applying to these past months, try your best to not be part of this problem, yourself, going forward, if you’re involved in a hiring process. Treat people with courtesy and humanity.
• Lastly, if at all possible, relax and take a well-deserved break/vacation before your new job starts. What a lot of people don’t realize, unless they’ve been in this situation themselves, is that being unemployed is an incredibly stressful experience, despite the perceived “free time” one has available. So if you’ve got a week or two before your start date, or even just a weekend, celebrate accordingly and do something fun. Chances are you’ve earned it!
AND IF YOU’RE STILL ON THE HUNT…
• Remember that every one of the 11 people mentioned above successfully faced — and eventually overcame — the same fears and insecurities you’re probably wrestling with right now. Am I too old? Too young? Are my skills too generalized? Is my resume good enough? Is my network big enough? Will I ever work again? These fearful thoughts are a natural part of the job hunting process and as the above individuals prove, they are not insurmountable obstacles.
• Learn from these successful folks, if you know any of them, or know anybody else in your network who has recently secured a new position. Ask them which job hunting techniques worked best. Which worked least. Ask how they stayed focused and confident. See if they can give you any other tips on how best to navigate the emotional, financial, and tactical aspects of the process.
• Never forget that it just takes one lucky break to put this all behind you, but that you need to create your own luck, as the old saying goes, via a steady regimen of outbound contact, networking, and professional development. Trust me when I tell you that most of the people featured above, who just landed, had been searching for quite a few months and had a number of setbacks/rejections before the one right lead came along — and changed their fortunes entirely!
Needless to say, I’m hoping that this positive trend continues for BOTH of the audiences outlined above — and for any of you out there reading this posting who are among the happy folks who have recently transitioned, please feel free, as always, to e-mail your tips, insights, and suggestions along to me (anonymously, if needed) to share with my other readers! Always love passing along your perspective…