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You made your 2013 goals. Was one of them “Find new job”?

Last week I wrote about whether it was advisable to look for a new job in such a volatile economy —  and the answer was, basically, “Depends how strongly you want to move.”
This week I’d like share my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. You may or may not have made any, you may or may not have kept to them or broken some of them. (Side track – at Lent each year, I give up dieting, and I always find the inner strength to stick to it). Let’s assume that the relevant 2013 resolution was to find a new job. How to keep the resolve up? Because most of you will probably already know that one of the toughest jobs in life is finding a new job.
Have a Plan. Doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to exist. Decide how you want to go job searching and go for the areas you know you will do and chuck out the ideas that you just can’t bring yourself to implement.
  1. Contact interviews. Have meetings, phone calls with people you trust e.g. old colleagues, HR Managers of firms your friends work at. (Actually contact interviews are a whole blog article on their own). Try for a reasonable number, one a week, two a week, whatever you can cope with. The idea is that they give you leads to pursue so remember that you have to give yourself to time for the follow up with those leads.
  2. Make lists. I live for lists. I have a Master List of all my mini-lists. Otherwise you won’t remember who you met when and what the outcome was, what jobs you applied for.
  3. Pick the Internet sites you’re going to look at constantly. Once you’re registered with a job site like Monster, it shouldn’t take too long to check out the day’s/week’s new jobs. Initially going through the previous month’s list of vacant position will take a while but thereafter it’s 10 minutes’ worth. Decide how long you want to spend on Internet sites and try to be reasonably consistent, don’t get depressed and give up just because one week has been horrible with no decent jobs posted. But don’t be unrealistic and think “I’ll do it 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time”, because no you won’t and then you’ll get depressed.
  4. Decide which agencies you love. Picking just one, even if it’s the fabulous Merit Personnel, means you won’t get access to all the jobs. However, going to too many may or may not get you all the jobs but in the process you’ll lose both your mind and faith in humanity. Email (or call in) every week or so with them, just to let them know you’re conscientious and still around.
  5. Got an Alumni Careers Office at your alma mater? E.g. Berkeley College has a very active one. Can’t hurt to register with them.
  6. Read the papers/blogs, if that’s your thing, because the business news articles often tell you about company expansions – “Acme Roofing Company hiring for 200 new jobs in Brooklyn.” Be ahead of the game and call up the company to ask for the HR person’s name so you can send – ideally email – your resume.  

Change your name to Pollyanna . Well, just figuratively. She was this annoying little girl in American literature and she always saw the bright side – yeesh! But learn from her and keep your spirits up, keep focused; that strength of will and determination will a) help you find a job and b) come across at interview. We see it at Merit with the candidates who come to us having been unemployed for quite a while, but they’re still buoyant and positive about the possibility of finding something. We KNOW they’ll interview well with our clients.
It’s the beginning of a New Year (and on February 10, the start of the Chinese Year of the Snake. I tried googling what it would mean but got kinda confused). There’s a whole year ahead of us to make positive changes and for many that will include FINDING A NEW JOB.