Searching for a job is wrought with misleading ideas. You may go years without conducting a job search, and then all of a sudden, you are smack dab in the middle of the job search desert, wondering which way to turn! Mirages create false hope, and you become weary in the search for sustenance. However, do not give up. A better understanding of the realities and possibilities during your job search can bolster results!
Here are three misconceptions about job searches and how to reframe beliefs and behaviors to move ahead in your hunt:
1. You can quit, be fired or laid off from your job and have a new job quickly, in the time frame you desire.
While you generally can find a job in somewhat short order, replacing your last job with a new, equitable position often takes weeks or months. Sometimes, replacing the compensation, benefits and responsibilities of your last job can take years. It can be a progression!
While job search from that perspective may sound depressing, don’t despair. The journey can be both enriching and growth-focused, and in the midst of the journey, you often step on stones that create new, unplanned traction toward your ultimate goals. Many people get stuck in a stagnant or bad role or a toxic environment. However, untethered from a languishing situation, the opportunities to seek out your next career phase mount.
2. Job search is about knowing the right people.
While there is some truth to the idea of knowing the right person to introduce you into your next opportunity, it is not the only path to job search success. Self marketing, articulating your value, reaching out to companies that have advertised openings–and those that don’t–and being persistent and communicative in problem solving all are keys.
Additionally, you may find that volunteering expertise in environments that need your talent can lead to a job. While volunteering isn’t meant to be a path to a new position, it can extend that value to you. So why not embrace it?
Further, many hiring decision makers are frankly too busy to conduct a meaningful interview and hiring process, yet they desperately need to expand their staff. They are frayed and frantic just trying to stay afloat. This particularly applies to mid-size or smaller businesses. Find them and sell them your problem-fixing ideas. Do smaller jobs or provide services for them that may lead to a bigger role later. Be creative!
3. Job search requires a great resume, so get one together quickly.
This is tricky, because “resume” is a worn-out word that really doesn’t define the inherent value of this modern career communication. A quickly pushed out resume possibly will fill the resume checkbox during an already engaged interview conversation, or it could detract.
But what’s key here is that a good resume takes weeks (maybe months) to build. It’s more about strategically communicating your strengths and experience than it is about a grammar-perfect, well-laid-out career document. It’s about peeling back the layers of your career, and then planting and cultivating new career seeds that sprout and resplendently blossom into the narrative that is “you”. It should exude for the reader (target hiring manager) what they need to know.
Sound too good to be true? Then you may be stuck in the old school definition of what makes for an effective resume. Today’s careers are built upon foundational and well-crafted stories, and the resume is the vehicle to begin telling that story.