In your job search, Every Second Counts!

I hope your thanksgiving weekend was as wonderful as our weekend was. We had the opportunity to visit with a number of family members, rest, eat (too much!), and watch a little football.  All in all, I would not change a thing.

Each of us is given a fixed amount of time.  Life is like a game, especially one that has time involved.  Basketball has 40 minutes and football has 60 at the collegiate level.  Every second counts.  Take the Auburn and Vanderbilt games as an example this past weekend.

Vanderbilt scored to win the game with less than one minute to go Saturday with a field goal by Carey Spear.

Auburn scored to win the game with one second on the clock in the most improbable way.  What looked like defeat was then turned into victory.  All of this in just one second, 1/3600 of the entire game, less than 0.03% of the entire game made the difference.

So it is with your job search.  You have more time than you can imagine, but every second counts.  It may seem like you don’t have the time, but having a plan, a strategy and implementing the plan will make all of the difference.

Start with strategy.

Strategy is not the plan, but it will determine what the plan looks like.  Your job search strategy will answer some of these questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I do well?
  • Where do I want to work; geographically, company, industry?
  • What is my long-term ambition?

If you can answer these questions you will have the beginning steps of your strategy.

Build the plan.

Once you have answered the questions under the strategy section you can then work on the following items that are critical for your plan?

  • When do I need to be working again?
  • What is my target compensation?
  • Which companies fit into the geographic or industry parameters in my strategy?
  • Who do I need to talk with to get to my goals?
  • What needs to happen first, second, etc.?

Implement the plan.

Now that the strategy and plan are in place, get to work.  Make a task list daily and monitor your progress.  If you don’t have metrics (measurements of what is important), then find some.  Metrics could include the following:

  • Number of contacts per week, per day
  • Number of return calls
  • Number of referrals
  • Interviews
  • Second interviews
  • Offers

Also, measure what doesn’t work well.  Sometimes you will learn more from what doesn’t work well when compared to what does.

Your job search is like the regular season in college football.  Just like every other job seeker, you will have some items that are identical, but your goal is to make the post season, a bowl game if you will.  Making the bowl game means you have to have more victories than losses usually, but in some cases you can win just one game and have a successful search or season.

Every second counts.

You will never know whether you win or lose unless you have a strategy that drives a plan that you then implement.

You will fumble along the way and someone may intercept some of your best opportunities.

Keep coming back to the line of scrimmage.  Scoring with 10 minutes to go is no more important than scoring on  the last play.

Every second counts.

I’ll be back in a few days after this commercial break.

Have a wonderful day!