When people do need to look for a job, many tasks are uncomfortable to do because they haven’t done them before, so they feel awkward. As a result, a great many job seekers primarily do those tasks that are easier for them, and avoid the ones that are more difficult.
Comfort Zone Time Wasters
Job seekers primarily do those things are within their comfort zone, like these...
- Endlessly searching for and applying to job postings online.
Instead: Find contacts with the employer, and ask for referrals.
- Applying for a position, and then waiting for a call back.
Instead: Proactively follow up the application with professional persistence to be sure you’re being considered for the role.
- Sending out dozens of generic resumes.
Instead: Figure out what each job requires most, and then customize the resume to emphasize relevant experience and skills.
- Randomly spending your days and weeks jumping from one task to another without a plan.
Instead: Schedule your week with specific blocked out times to accomplish objectives.
…and many other similar examples.
Doing the Harder (More Productive) Things
The biggest obstacle most people face in doing the “hard” things is their own resistance, and, thus, they procrastinate in doing those hard things. The best thing many people can do is to take the time to consciously, and deliberately answer the question:
Am I only willing to do those things that are in my comfort zone, or am I willing to do whatever is necessary to land a new job in this market?
Wrestling with that question, and, hopefully, coming to the conclusion and conscious decision that you are willing to do what’s necessary, will greatly help you overcome the resistance. Whenever resistance arises within you, you can recall your commitment, decide to honor it, and move forward.
Most people haven’t made that intentional commitment to themselves, and so evading the “hard” things is not a problem for them, except for the lack of results.
Taking on a “job-search mindset”, and committing to do the things that are most effective whether they are easy or not, will dramatically improve the results from your efforts.
The commitment can cause you to:
- Be willing to connect to a stream of new people you’ve never talked to before. Always asking for additional referrals that would be worthwhile to talk to about your search.
- Find contacts through LinkedIn or other networking connections at companies you’re interested or have applied to and proactively call and talk to people professionally introducing yourself and expressing interest rather than waiting and hoping for a call back on your application.
- Make the effort to customize your resume each time you present it to a new company, emphasizing the most relevant skills and experience they are likely to be interested in.
- Deliberately planning your days and weeks in order to be more productive each day rather than figuring out what to do next from hour to hour
- Thoroughly prepare and practice interview questions and behavioral interview scenarios. Doing the work of solid preparation rather than winging it.
- Be bold! Find new and creative ways to connect to the right people, introduce yourself more effectively to companies, and be pleasantly, professionally, persistent.
Once you ask yourself the question of: Am I willing to do what’s necessary?
And make a commitment that you are, everything else becomes easier and your search becomes far more effective!
© Copyright Harry Urschel, 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About This Author
Harry Urschel has over 25 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives. He can be contacted by email at: email@example.com
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