Along with the wacky weather we’ ve been experiencing, I’m excited to report that there’s been a “shower” of recent folks landing jobs here in the Seattle area, as well! After running a quick search through my files, I’m thrilled to note that at least among my own personal client network, no fewer than 33 people have reported successful job transitions this year — a number only four short of the TOTAL number of transitions I recorded all of last year among members of the Career Horizons community. So whatever factors have changed out there in the marketplace, boy, let’s hope they continue in a big way!
Looking back at some of these recent transitions, one key ingredient that many of these successful folks reported is the importance of maintaining a high volume of outbound lead prospecting efforts throughout the search process. When I asked several people to comment on the greatest change they made to their strategy after going through the formal coaching process, in fact, the most common answer was that they boosted the number of calls/contacts they’d been making significantly compared to previous levels. For example, if they had only been making the 3 contacts per week required by the unemployment office for the first couple of months of their search, they boosted this number to at least 3 contacts per day — or even up to the 5+ daily contacts I recommend as the threshold one should shoot for in a serious job hunting campaign.
When one “turns up the volume” on their search in this fashion, it goes a long way toward breaking the cycle of analysis paralysis and increasing a person’s chances of stumbling across the hidden opportunities that are out there, under the radar screen. The reason? At some level, job hunting really is a numbers game. Not an indiscriminate numbers game, mind you, or one where you should just fire off resumes at random, but in a marketplace (Seattle) where there are over 75,000 employers to target and over 650,000 people on LinkedIn you could conceivably approach for networking purposes, the old excuse “I’ve already contacted everybody I know or every company that might have an opening for me” doesn’t hold water anymore. There is more than enough contact “fuel” out there to keep a job hunt going strong, each and every day, even at the executive level.
So my advice to those who are still in the hunt? Aim high. Hit your numbers. Focus on action. Set a daily goal (e.g. 5 contacts/day or whatever seems appropriate for your situation) and do whatever you have to do, in the midst of all your other priorities, to meet this outbound contact goal each and every day. It’s an indispensable ingredient to success in the modern job hunting process and if your numbers haven’t quite reached this level, to date, it might be a sign you’re overthinking things, unfamiliar with the available company/contact research tools out there, or unwilling to get out of your comfort zone and do what it takes to give yourself the best odds of success. Or, alternatively, you might simply not be as serious as some other people about finding your next position, which is perfectly okay if you can afford to search merely on a part-time basis.
In relation to this whole “hit your numbers” concept, in fact, I’m working on a significant revision to my flagship Job Search PhD spreadsheet that will do a better job of helping people track their average daily output rate — and I look forward to unveiling this new sheet in about two weeks to past and present clients who want to take advantage of it. In the meantime, I want to put a shout out to any diehard Microsoft Excel wizards that might out there. While I’ve made a bunch of changes to my spreadsheet already, there’s one change I’m trying to make that eludes my skill (or patience) and requires some complex programming in terms of =OFFSET equations, conditional formulas, and such things. So if any of you are extremely well-versed in this level of Excel programming, and would be willing to take a stab at adding the feature I’m trying to implement, I’d be happy to barter you some coaching time for it!