Wow, the very first thought that crossed my mind when I wrote the title of this week’s newsletter was, “Wow, that’s a long title!” and “That’s a big bill to fill!”
If you’re actively job seeking, I bet you can relate… especially if have a high paced job, a spouse, children, an ailing family member, or any other commitment that takes up a good bit of your personal time.
The saying, “getting a job is a job” is very true. You get out of a job search what you put into it. The more time you spend working on your job search, on average, the better your results will be.
But, there are so many things to do! If you Google anything related to job search, you’ll find pages and pages of results with resume tips, interview answer strategies, what to wear, and more.
Many of these opinions differ, so you may find yourself sifting through tons of information. All of this “data” overwhelms most people. It can cause you to want to put things on hold for just a little longer.
Things at work may not yet seem bad enough to need to focus on moving on, so you put it off. The problem is, if you wait until you have to find a job, you’ve given up quite a bit of your negotiating power — and the ability to wait for the right job. Suddenly, you need one right now!
On the topic of social events, a friend used to say, “I like to leave parties at their peak – when I’m really having a great time. I know that once I’ve had a great time, things are only going to go downhill from there. I’ve had a great time, and now I will head home.”
I think of jobs in a bit of the same way. At some point, you will have learned everything you can. You will have received most, if not all, of the promotions you’ll get. If you leave on a positive note, you will walk away with praise, a great reference from your boss, and an open door to return. If you wait until the down swing and leave on a negative note, all doors are closed.
So, when you do start your search, where should you focus your time, energy, and money?
- Time: You only have so many hours a day. If you have one hour a day to spend on your job search, alternate it between networking and searching. Finding great jobs isn’t helpful if you aren’t active in your own network. And, your network will only take you so far if you don’t know what jobs are available.
- Energy: Job searching can really suck the life out of you. Where should you focus the energy you do have? Spend your emotional energy refining your personal brand. How do you speak about yourself? How do you represent yourself online? What do your cover letter and resume say about you?
- Money: First and foremost, remember – money will not get you the job. Your talent and skills will. If you have to decide how to spend a budget, let’s say $1,000 on your job search, where should you spend it? First, buy one nice suit. Notice the word one. You don’t need to invest in an entirely new wardrobe when the company will see you in a suit only once or twice. Look for a suit that’s on sale, and then spend a little extra money to have it tailored to fit your body. Next, purchase business cards. They should cost around $50. If you don’t have a professional photo for LinkedIn, consider hiring a photographer to take a head shot for you. If you don’t have a nice portfolio folder to carry your resumes around in, get one of those too. Last, consider investing in services to help you refine your resume, LinkedIn, elevator pitch, and your overall personal brand. All of these things together should cost less than $1,000 – a small amount of money to make a big impact on your daily life, and your future.
After all, when you’re job searching, you have a limited about of time and money. Take the time to prioritize what’s important to you. Make yourself and your future a priority the same way you would make taking a trip or purchasing a new car. It’s an investment in you.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes. Thanks.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.