Monthly Archives: March, 2015

Eight Positive Aspects of Being in Job Search

Although you may need to remind yourself of them, there are some positive aspects to being in job search.  Have you experienced these yet?

1. Everything you learn in this phase will remain helpful to you(after you land your next role).

Any credentials you earn, any new contacts that you meet, anyone that you’ve spent time with and shared “what you are looking for,” remain valid and useful for as long as you keep them active.  If you (unfortunately) find yourself unemployed again soon, your new job search will start from a much stronger position than your prior search.

2. You have more time to develop yourself by either fine-tuning old skills, or learning new ones.

In addition to bringing your skills up-to-date, any classes, or certifications you complete demonstrate how you have kept busy while unemployed.

3. You recognize that every day’s effort is important to your progress.

Although this is true every day of your life, in job search you need to be strengthening your network, skills, and/or visibility each day to prevent inertia from setting in.  “The status quo” is not welcome in job search: consistent activity is needed to influence the change in your employment status.

Public Domain Image.

Public Domain Image.

4. It is easier to spend more time with family and friends. 

I was able to spend several days helping a friend package up and move  boxes and home items as he prepared to move to another state.  We had many laughs as we worked on this, and I would not have spent as much time there had I been working.

5. You learn more about you really are. 

I heard so many folks say “I’ve learned so much about myself” after being unemployed for awhile.  Being presented with a challenge which affects so many areas of your life, for a duration you cannot predict, will force you to determine how you approach each day.  (For me, this point separates you from your resume, skills, and work experience, and identifies the qualities that make you unique. )

6. Any preventative steps that you’ve taken will pay off. 

If you’ve taken steps to set aside some funds for “a rainy day,”  kept your medical/dental/vision health strong, you’ll be able to rest a little easier during your job search.

7. You will be exposed to new sources of inspiration.

For me, the book “Escape from the Box: The Wonder of Human Potential” by Col. Edward L. Hubbard was especially inspiring.  The way he (eventually) approached his multi-year situation resonated with me.  I probably wouldn’t have come across this book, if not for attending a job search forum (and now I have an autographed copy)!

8. You can wait a little longer in the morning to shovel the snow from your driveway.

Although only a seasonal benefit, I did see a positive side on those cold, snowy mornings, to not having to get up extra early just to shovel snow, in order to drive into work as soon as possible.  (Seriously though, in job search, it is easier to opt-out of driving through rush hour traffic on dangerously bad-weather days, and it is fine to appreciate those moments when they happen.)

Were there positive aspects to your job search that I haven’t called out above? Feel free to list some in the comments.

Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor.  He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.

© 2015 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved

How can others help you in job search

In job search, always be prepared to answer the question “How can I help you?”

When so many parts of your life seemingly falling behind because getting a weekly, stable income tends to take priority, you may feel tongue-tied the first few times you hear this.  It took a while for me to accept that most help will be found from people that you do not know well.

Many helping hands are in front of you.  Public Domain Image

More helping hands are in front of you than you can see.
Public Domain Image

Part of the difficulty may be in carving out only one specific request to the offering party.  Acknowledging that you would appreciate some help, is not acknowledging that you are helpless, or that no one else is helping you.  Knowing how that person could best assist your search, is very handy.

For all of your contacts: 

Since no one can help you unless they are aware that you could use it, you need to tell them.  The best way to do so is to send an email out to them, letting them know that you are now (or are soon to be) unemployed, and are seeking roles in your industry, within such-and-such a geographic area, and some company names that you are interested in pursuing.  List some titles of your desired roles, and say that you’d appreciate being put in contact with anyone who may be looking to fill such a role.  Finally, let them know how they can contact you.  From my JSWT experience, you get approximately a 10% response rate from doing this.

For folks you don’t know too well (or have just met):

Get to know them better.  Ask them about any industry knowledge they may have.  (Provide your elevator speech, and then see what they have to share.)  Ask for general feedback upon your resume.  What jumps out to them?  Learn about the industry that they were in, for that knowledge may come in handy later.  Always, ask how you can help them.

For folks you have gotten to know:

You can ask for a bit more of their time.  Ask for feedback upon your resume, elevator speech, or even to ‘spot interview’ you to see how you answer questions.  Practice interviews are great to do with three people, as the third person can observe the interviewer and the interviewee objectively.  Always, ask how you can help them.

The most dedicated support will be from...the people in your job search work team.

Upon joining a team, you essentially agree to spend a few hours each week helping other members of the team.  Over time, you’ll be surprised at the amount of support (and experiences, and contacts, and feedback) provided within the team.

 

In my project management experience, I’ve always found that the most organized teams were the best at identifying areas that could be improved with some external help.  The question ‘How can I help you?’ is certainly one that you want to be able to answer well.

Were there other ways that you’ve answered this question while in job search?  Have folks given you a great response when you’ve asked them this question?  I’d love to hear about it.

 

Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor.  He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.

© 2015 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved