Job-Seeking Step 1: Preparing For The Job Search

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What you do today will affect the rest of your life

The first five years of a career sets the pace for the rest of it

Job-seeking is almost inevitable since the average person goes through 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetime

You can recover from some mistakes, but others will haunt you forever

Have a long-term desire that balances your needs and your wants reasonably

  • Consider your career path with personal preference and aptitude in mind
  • If you desire a creative career, have a second practical one that ensures consistent pay

Many career decisions sound right at the time but harm you long-term

Overachieving

  • Pretending to be what you aren’t in hobbies or expertise
  • Making decisions only for money
  • Overworking yourself and sacrificing your happiness
  • Prioritizing your work life over your personal life
  • Micro-managing everything
  • Fearing mistakes and failure

Underachieving

  • Settling for mediocre
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Not giving your best

Don’t leave a job for the wrong reasons

Fix a negative attitude, or you’ll eventually bring it to your new job

  • Dissatisfaction isn’t always negativity, but negativity always gives dissatisfaction
  • Happiness is a choice, and you can be content anywhere

You need to move into something better, not away from something you dislike

  • Your best chance of networking comes from helping others succeed, not in becoming better
  • Self-assess your feelings about your job
    • Write out the pros and cons all possible decisions you can make with your job
    • Consider how you describe your work in conversations
    • Examine what feelings you’ll experience from possible choices

Start another job before quitting the current one to avoid unnecessary risks

  • Any income is better than unemployed
  • If there is a deadline before you’re unemployed, search feverishly to avoid any gaps in employment
  • Even entrepreneurs work perpetually at reducing risk

On the other hand, you may have a great reason to find another job

The job ruins your personal life

  • You fear or dread going to work
  • Weekends make starting the next work week unbearable
  • Your work makes you cranky and irritable off the clock

You can’t identify with the organization

  • You don’t feel you’re adding value to your work
  • You don’t feel others in your workgroup hear your ideas
  • You don’t like spending time with your coworkers
  • The company doesn’t fulfill what you’ve purposed in your life
  • You’re the victim of verbal abuse, sexual harassment or other illegal behaviors

You don’t see your future with the company

  • Top management has made advancement impossible
  • You can’t see yourself at the company in a year, which is about how long you may need to transition to another job
  • You don’t see an opportunity to grow or learn from your work
  • Your career goals have changed and aren’t in line with the company anymore

The position obstructs one of your primary life goals

  • You’re prepared to start your own business
  • You’re getting married or having a child and want to be stay-at-home
  • You’re trying to move to a region the company doesn’t cover

You’ve changed as a person

  • Your goals and values have adapted or improved
  • A different type of work fulfills you than your job provides
  • You want to take on a challenge your position can’t give you or something new
  • You’re no longer happy doing the work you once loved
  • You’ve found something you like doing for an extended period in the course of your duties

Being a job-hopper has benefits and downsides

There are benefits

  • More work experience across a variety of industries makes you more creative and indispensable
  • You can build a potent professional network with others if you handle it carefully
  • You can quickly upgrade your title, salary, and benefits

There are also downsides

  • Potential employers see you as disloyal and uncommitted
  • You lose some job security since most companies layoff their newest workers
  • You won’t see the long-term impact of your work and therefore can’t add it to your resume
  • You sabotage your network every time you change jobs
  • The company won’t hire you internally elsewhere

Staying in the same position for a long time, however, will make you look unambitious

  • If you want to stay marketable and competitive, your career shouldn’t be a straight line
  • At the same time, stay in a job for at least fifteen months to ensure you don’t invalidate prior work experience

Capture and quantify all of the work you’ve done before you leave

Download your contacts and customers lists from all company-owned devices

Ask for reference letters from key people in your company

  • If they don’t have much time, give them 3-5 items you want them to include

Update your LinkedIn profile and resume while you’re still employed

Save copies of documents you’ve made which highlight your accomplishments

Find out your exact restrictions if you work under a non-competition agreement

  • If you need, get legal counsel to ensure you’re aware of your limitations

Alert your references in advance about receiving a call from another employer and request for their praise of your past work

Stay mindful of any colleagues you want with you if your new employer wants referrals

If you were fired or laid off

Many things are worth getting fired from

  • Principles or values you stand for
  • An abusive work environment
  • Unhealthy favoritism or family-style dysfunctional roles playing out in a company

You’re not trying enough in your career if someone didn’t fire you at least once

  • This fast-paced world requires risks, and many can backfire in losing a job
  • Getting fired is a wake-up call you may have needed about significant life problems

Start looking at yourself if any of the following may have caused you to get fired

  • Extreme negativity
  • Promising something you didn’t deliver
  • Trying to “sell” something unrelated to the company inside the company
  • A lack of emotional intelligence
  • Misusing company resources or supplies
  • Speaking wrongly or presumptuously on behalf of the company
  • Multiple back-to-back firings or quitting

Don’t make any major life decisions for at least three months after getting fired

  • Most dumb decisions come from depression and anger
  • Let go of the anger and find your inner happiness
  • Focus all your frustrations on finding a new job as soon as possible

As much as it hurts, accept that nobody cares about your unemployment as much as you do

  • This world is harsh and genuine empathy about unemployment is rare
  • Learn happiness and gratitude in spite of the circumstances

Download your bank statement and figure out how much money you have left

  • Make a budget and find what you can cut to survive until the next job
  • Make a general best-case and worst-case prediction about how long your money will last

Your work results might still be useful from a company that fired you

  • You’re not at fault for things you couldn’t have prevented
  • However, avoid the same type of job if automation technology made your role obsolete

It’s impossible to defeat someone who doesn’t give up, so don’t give up

  • Getting terminated isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning

If you’re starting your career

You won’t get a glamorous job

  • Expect work in fast food or hard labor if you don’t have connections
  • Even if you find an excellent job, nobody will respect you until you’ve earned time in it

Think of any relevant volunteer experience, extracurricular activities or hobbies that may interest an employer

  • Clubs or organizations
  • Team and individual sports
  • Church involvement
  • Plays and performances
  • Volunteering in retirement centers, animal shelters, and homeless shelters
  • Find something to volunteer in if you can’t think of anything

The rarest resource in your job search is time

Next: Step 2: Setting Your Goals