Without question, job hunting involves the completion of many complex, nuanced activities in order to achieve success. Whether mastering the intricacies of working with recruiters, or staying up until 3:00 am to fine-tune your first cover letter submission, novice job hunters (i.e. most successful working adults) unquestionably face a steep learning curve when it comes to navigating today’s world of work.
Despite the various and sundry “career complexities” you’ll have to tackle on a daily basis, however, there’s no denying that the process of running a successful job hunt CAN be boiled down to a few simple rules of thumb. In fact, like most things in life, the simplest guidelines are often the ones that prove most effective, memorable, and that have the most profound impact on creating positive results.
So for those members of our readership who are actively in job transition, we would offer an incredibly simple “test” of your current effectiveness — and effort level — that will trump just about any other piece of advice we could offer. The tip we’d share? Plant 5 seeds a day. Or to put it another way, apply all of the means and creativity at your disposal to ensure you complete at least 10 distinct action steps per day that could potentially generate a viable employment lead, conversation, or opportunity. Is this an ambitious goal for most people? Absolutely. But it’s also completely within your reach, once you realize how to identify and respond appropriately to the vast universe of opportunities that surround you in the Puget Sound market. For example, in a given day, you could elect to respond to 2 published ads that strike your fancy, forward your resume to a recruiter who works in your occupational field, call up a networking contact that you’re overdue to connect with, and write a targeted direct marketing e-mail to a company of interest that you spotted in the morning newspaper.
If this number sounds beyond reach to you, or you’ve been searching for a few weeks and aren’t coming close to hitting this target, that’s probably an indication that there’s a significant hurdle getting in your way — be it a lack of training about how to locate opportunities in the first place or a “mental roadblock” inhibiting your efforts, such as the tendency to overanalyze your efforts or play it too safe with your outreach efforts. If this is your situation, by all means, ask for help! At the end of the day, however, if you’re committed to running a full-time job search, you should aspire to look under at least 5 different rocks per day in search of potential openings for your skills — trust us, they’re out there!