Knowing when it is time to get help with your job search strategy
There are many reasons behind why people stay stuck or prolong an unsuccessful job search process. If you have been unemployed or stuck in an undesirable role for an extended period of time, it’s probably time to evaluate why your circumstances have not changed. Blaming external factors won’t change anything, but changing your approach will. For many people, that’s a tough nut to crack. Outside assistance may be what is needed to help move the dial.
It’s not uncommon for people to talk with just about anybody about their intentions for a new car purchase or favorite restaurants. Using this same approach for a job search might be as dangerous as asking for medical advice from random strangers. Although most people have good intentions, they are not likely to know enough about your backstory or details of your particular issues to be able to provide realistic advice for making the changes you seek.
On the flip side, friends and family may be too close to you to feel comfortable addressing hard truths that may be barriers to your progress. They may be afraid of hurting your feelings or disrupting a relationship. They also may have a distorted impression of where you fit in the market and what types of roles you are most likely to be competitive for.
When you have already pursued the “you ought to do (this)” directives from well-meaning friends and acquaintances to no avail, it’s time to get professional assistance in developing a strategy for moving forward. The following questions can help you determine which parts of the job search process you might need help with:
- Do I know what I want?
- Do I know how to accomplish it?
- Do I have enough time to carry out the tactical elements?
- Am I willing to personally invest the time to do what is needed?
- Am I looking for a quick fix or a longer-term solution?
- Do I have a limited network?
- Am I unsure of how to approach people or pose the right kinds of questions?
If you are unsure of what you want and how to get it, then it would be nearly impossible to capture your dream job or convince an employer that you are qualified, excited and a fit for any other position you pursue. It is also unlikely you are spending your time efficiently or productively. It’s very easy to succumb to inaction when the steps forward are not clear.
There are many assessment tools on the market that can help you determine where your interests lie and what you might be good at. After that investigation is underway, the real trick is in attaching what you want to your current marketability. Assessment tools typically are not connected to actual local market conditions, so the next step is to develop a real-world plan for getting where you think you want to be. This seems simple, but it may not be easy or intuitive. Your background and any other extraneous issues need to be taken into account when moving forward. Getting information from people about their work or the companies they work for is necessary and welcomed. Taking advice from people who may not know all the facts or are unaware of extended market conditions can cause a complete derailment. If you have experienced nothing but dead ends or unfulfilling work and are ready to get on the right track to change your employment status, what do you have to lose by enlisting a professional’s help and trying a new approach?