Changes to make in 2009 that will help you find a better job.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job SearchNetworking
I’ve always hated when people make resolutions for the New Year. I hate even more those lists from the previous year – forget the past, move on, focus on the future!! I figure if you want to do something, why wait? Why not start right away? With that in mind, the New Year’s Resolution concept is more of a procrastination tool than anything. So, I’m not going to focus on that. What I will focus on is changes I’d like to see in 2009. And to be really bold, these are not changes for me, but changes I’d like to see in others in 2009! So, make me proud and resolve to change this year. You’ll make me very happy!
Vow to get out and meet people. Set a goal of meeting twelve new people a month. If you break it down, that’s only three people per week (one less than every other day). Let’s say you go to one networking event per week, you can easily meet three people at each one. From this group of twelve, develop a relationship with the top three (or more if you think they’re worthy). Have coffee with them, maybe plan a lunch or dinner with a few of them – so they can meet each other. Become a connector for others – and bring more value to all of the people you meet.
Vow to quit talking and start listening. Try to attend an event, meet someone and not say a thing about you. Ask them questions. Learn from them. Find something fascinating about them and delve into it. And just when you think they want to know about you (because they asked about you), turn the conversation around and back onto them (with another question). Practice this and you’ll find that you’ll make more friends.
Vow to get a better attitude. Most people I know who currently have a job are not happy – and board the complain train every chance they get. If you’re not happy with your current job, then go find something that will make you happy. If you think you “can’t afford it,” you’re probably wrong. You can afford to do anything. If you’re unwilling to change your lifestyle to afford happiness, well, that’s your problem.
Vow to quit surfing the internet for your next job. When are you going to learn that your next job is not posted? It never will be. And while you’re wasting your time surfing the web for the perfect position, your competition just networked their way into the company and landed the job you’ve always wanted. Make a concerted effort to really identify the companies you want to work for…and network your way in so that you’ll be the one others ask “How did you get that job? I didn’t even know they were hiring?”
Vow to build relationships with people through actual conversations. Quit emailing people your resume. You’re filling their inbox with junk. They’re not going to open it. And even if someone does, you won’t land a job as a result. A friend of mine (who sent her resume to me) told me that after emailing her resume to a number of acquaintances, she actually got called back. That’s great! “Did you get a job from them?” I asked. No. No. No. But the company did manage to waste hours of her life giving her false hope and then milking her for additional contacts for another search they were doing. Nice work. What a perfect distraction to take you away from focusing on your job search.
Vow to get information readily available on the web – from the web, and stop wasting other people’s time. I can’t tell you how many calls I get for the Executives Network meetings – asking about date, time, location. This information is readily available on our website. If you are going to attend an event, you don’t need to call the company and ask for details. Do you think people attending the inauguration are calling Obama to get specifics? No, he has other things to worry about, and chances are good they have a website with all of the details.
Kelly runs a monthly social event. I recommended Steve attend this event. When I asked him about it, he said he placed a call to Kelly and was waiting to hear back. I asked him why? Didn’t he already have the event details? What else did he need to know? She’ll remember him because he called to waste her time to confirm mundane details he already had. Meanwhile, he missed the event because she hadn’t gotten back to him yet. Nice going, Steve!
(Just a note, I find that people out of work tend to confirm and reconfirm more often, as though others, for some crazy reason, will forget to run an event one month that they’ve been running for five years.)
Vow to take the time necessary to find the right fit. Most people I know who are in the job search keep thinking that the next job is right around the corner. It is around a corner alright. It just may be more corners than you ever thought existed. Be open to the possibility that it may take a while to land the next job. I often think back to my own job search. If someone had told me from day one that it would take me two years and three days to find a job, I’d say they were nuts. More importantly, there’s no way I could afford to be out of work that long. Well, it did take that long, and I learned how to really get down to the basics and cut out all that was unnecessary. Each month that went by, I thought, this can’t go on much longer, I can’t afford it. But it did, and I did. For every person I meet who tells me they “have to find a job because they can’t afford being out of work.” I understand. I just want to tell you that it might take longer than expected, so start preparing now. And the reality is, as long as you have your health, you can do anything.
So that’s a start. Just make those changes for me in 2009, and I promise you you’ll make more friends, identify more opportunities, and be a happier person. And in turn, I’ll be happier too! Here’s to a great 2009!