Job Search: 5 Ways to Get Inspired in the New Year

Now that the confetti of the New Year has settled, how is your job search going? Are you stuck? Do you feel a lack of enthusiasm? Can you use some inspiration?

During the quieter end of December, I had some time to do a few things that had been tabled for way too long – things like webinars, outings with friends, and quiet time to read. After a few days of this gift of time to journey through these happenings, I honestly felt reinvigorated. Learning some new things, I also felt inspired with new ideas and approaches to business.

So, here are some ideas that I hope will inspire you, too. The key is taking time out to do something of your own choosing, which I think is truly energizing. And, I believe that it is important to plan time in your calendar to periodically do this.

Here are 5 ideas that may inspire you in the New Year:

  1. Industry Relevant – Listen to some webinars in your field. Search through your industry professional associations or use Google to help find 1 to 2-hour sessions that are practical and offer industry-relevant information or skills that are cutting edge.
  2. Social Media – Have you been hearing about twitter and Instagram but have no clue? Your smartphone has tons of apps that everyone is using and you don’t know which ones you should even have? Find classes or watch some YouTube videos on “how to.”
  3. Self Improvement – Whether it’s a consultation at your favorite salon, a new fitness program, or healthier approaches to eating, now is a great time to explore a change. Allow yourself to have fun in the process and make it manageable change so that you can stick with it.
  4. Career Experts – Do you find yourself overwhelmed in the search process? Perhaps it’s time to use an expert. If your old approach was not working, then you need to do something different. Investing money for an expert can pay off exponentially when you land a position sooner because you used help.
  5. Fun – Is there a hobby you have lost touch with? Sewing, carpentry, gardening, reading, tennis, running, swimming, mah jong….whatever it is for you. Making time for regular fun in your life is important for your mood and the attitude you project to others.

I hope these ideas will help you feel ready to pick up your job search with new energy, confidence, and a fresh outlook for success!

Can you be found by the “Magic” Sourcers?

If you are a job seeker, do you know about “Magic” Sourcers? Well, really known as “Sourcers,” they are the people who are constantly mining candidates who might fit a company need at some point in the future. Recruiters often do sourcing as part of their job, but “Sourcers” focus exclusively on finding potential candidates. If they can find you, then lots of job search “magic” can occur!

Sourcers can be internal HR people or external recruiters. Their task is to build a database of ideal candidates to tap into when the company is ready to fill a job. This saves a lot of time trying to find the right candidate when the company has an urgent need. By doing your homework, you can position yourself in places to be found and “whal-lah!” you will exponentially shorten your job search…MAGIC!

So where do Sourcers look for candidates? They SLEUTH for information about a specific field of interest. They will research everything from what the position entails, what skill sets are required, what publications those professionals read, what associations do they belong to, what conferences do they attend, and more.

Here are some places they look:

 

>>> Social Media – your posts, profile, comments, demos, slides, and more!

– LinkedIn – including Groups

– Facebook – including deep searches for unique user groups

– Quora – a Q & A website

– YouTube – video presentations

– SlideShare – slide presentations

– About.me – a more personal website

– Twitter – what content are you sharing

 

>>> Blogs – they are evaluating topic and content

>>> Industry Publications – have you written articles? Are you esteemed in your industry?

>>> Conference Speaker – are you sought after as a speaker? Are you an expert in a specific niche?

So how can you increase the odds that they will find you? Most important, know where Sourcers are sleuthing for you. Then build a strong digital presence with profiles that provide highlights (not tons of detail) of who you are and what you can do. “Be seen” by creating intelligent content on blogs, comments, and posts. Elevate your digital footprint and you WILL be found!

Stop, Breathe, Take a Fresh Look!

Job search is not static. All of the parts move and change ALL of the time. The question is, are you static? Maybe it’s time to stop, breathe, and take a fresh look at what you are doing and what your career documents are projecting about you. Are they interacting effectively in the job search market?

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Is your résumé projecting the right target?

Can the reader quickly see what type of position you are targeting? Do you have a summary section? Sounds obvious but many job seekers miss this opportunity to market themselves here. Your summary should include words that match job titles and the level of the position you seek. It must be a snapshot of what makes you a great candidate and showcase the value you bring to the table.

  1. Do you have a presence on LinkedIn?

This is a critical vehicle for your online presence and for business credibility. Recruiters are incredulous when a job seeker does not have a LinkedIn profile. It’s as if the person is antiquated because they are not using business social media. So, create a profile! Make it powerful, truthful, and concise. Showcase your highlights…not your résumé. Use your page to learn and share info on “Groups.” And build relationships – not just numbers – by connecting and engaging others.

  1. Are you live networking?

Are you face-to-face networking at professional association meetings? These groups are filled with colleagues who are in your profession! Go to meetings. Develop relationships with others in your field. Volunteer in the organization. Pay it forward. Listen to speakers to learn new things. Good things will happen from this. Remember to keep this up even AFTER you get your new job. It is part of a life-long career management strategy, not just when you are in need of a new job.

Hope these ideas will help you take a fresh look at what you can do to jump start your search in 2016. Happy New Year!

Are you thinking of making a Career Change?

Many job seekers are exploring new careers right now because they need a change or the economy is forcing that change. This is a scary thought for most people. What are your options? What else are you good at? Where do you start?

Why is change so scary? Well, change means going into the unknown. You know your job, your expertise, your contacts, processes, and more. Now you will have to be the “newbie” and that’s always stressful. It also means rocking the boat – staying where you are is much more comfortable than delving into new waters. On the other hand, change can be exhilarating and can lift you out of a stagnant situation. When we have many years left in the workplace, there’s no reason to remain stuck in a job or industry that is personally unrewarding.

So, take a deep breath! Before undertaking any ambitious goal, it’s a good idea to do some research, some exploration, and some reflection to help fine-tune a goal that you will be comfortable going after. Be realistic about whether the goal is attainable for you and what the financial impact of any change might be.

Assessment – If you have absolutely no idea, you might want to start with a skills / career assessment. Some are available online but I recommend working with a trusted career counselor to guide you in the use and interpretation of these tools. Assessments should be viewed only as a starting point to do further research on the careers suggested. Another idea is to be creative about turning a hobby or other passion into a possible career.

Research – Look up information on sites such as www.online.onetcenter.org, www.careeroverview.com, or www.careers.org. Look at current job boards such as monster, careerbuilder, indeed, and linkedin to see if there is hiring going on in those careers. Use www.salary.com to help you ballpark compensation ranges. Find people who do these careers to see what they think of their chosen field – do they like it? What is a typical day / week like for them? What is the potential for growth? What type of training or education do you need to succeed in this field?

Action – Now it’s time to make a decision about direction. Be realistic about your choice. Would enjoy doing this job? Is it attainable? Do you have the appropriate credentials? If needed, check out programs that offer these. Perhaps you can work a part-time or in a temporary position while you earn these credentials. Maybe you can find a position that will give you some entry level experience in your new field of interest. Perhaps you can volunteer somewhere to gain insight and experience. Once you are prepared, the final step will be to begin an active job search in your new field.

Success – Network with people in your new chosen field to develop relationships and to learn everything you can about your new area. Create a resume that repositions you for the new career. You must highlight the skills, experience, and any credentials that relate to the new career. Write a cover letter that gives a compelling reason for employers to consider you as a great candidate. Above all, be sure that everything you state is honest. Then be sure to be persistent and positive. I’ve seen enough successful career transitions to know that it can be done. Wishing you the best of success in your search!

Summer Fun … Is It Helping Your Job Search?

Are you into summer fun or are you overwhelmed by it because of a job search? We are surrounded by messages of summer fun – on television, billboards, radio, and social media. We have many friends who are going and coming back from summer vacations and sharing their plans or stories. Yet, all of excitement can make a job seeker depressed if there is no job in sight. And to top it off, there can be guilt about not taking a family vacation like others are doing.

With summer here, many people are nervous because hiring tends to slow down during this period and worries just multiply. Many job seekers have been out of work for a long time. And often, employers tend to slow down their hiring in the summer so that does not help matters.

So what can you do about a job search in the summer? And how do you grab hold of a little fun while you’re at it? Well, the summer can actually be the perfect time to take a step back and recharge. Planning some new activities and fun over the summer can make you feel better about yourself. You will feel fresher and attack job search activities with new energy that will come across to others in a powerful way.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Take a course to increase your knowledge or skills
  • Learn something new – just for fun
  • Read industry magazines to keep up in your field
  • Read books that are in the “Top Ten”
  • Get involved in more fitness activities
  • Spend time concentrated on your family
  • Attack something that you’ve been wanting to clean up at home
  • Think of some ideas to add to this list!
  • Keep up your networking activities
  • Stay on top of LinkedIn and Job Boards

Remember that while hiring does slow down, jobs still happen and there is less competition because many others are away. So continue to watch and apply to job postings on top websites and LinkedIn. You never know! So go have some fun!