How to avoid job search frustration

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Feb 18

Never more true during this recession, but it has always been true: every job will end. Whether that ending is through management deciding your work is no longer valuable to the company or you deciding you’ve had enough of your current situation, you will need to do a job search.

You could be looking for a job while you have one or while you don’t. In either case, the process can, and often is, a frustrating experience. Here are three tactical techniques to help you in your job search:

Have a plan

This is incredibly obvious, of course. But just as people fail to set goals for their life, so to do people fail to create a plan for looking for a job. Your plan should include the type of position you want, the type of company you would like to work for, what targeted networking you need to do to find the type of position and what targeted companies you should focus your search.

You should realize now, but probably need reminding, that looking for a job takes a fair amount of time. It is not a fifteen minute a day endeavor; it takes longer, especially with the highly desirable method of working with your business network.

Most people don’t have a plan. You do and working that plan will help prevent frustration.

Set up activity goals

Activity goals are the physical things you do to reach an objective goal. If you need to make ten phone calls to get to one sale, the activity goal is the ten phone calls and the sale is the objective goal.

Now, you won’t know what will give you specific success during your search, but setting activity goals allows you to track your progress and also see what is working. And what isn’t. This gives you the ability to pivot to more successful activities to find your job.

A corollary to activity goals are “policies.” Policies are like the rules you will use in your plan that to lead to success. For example, a policy could be that you will spend one hour a day looking for a new job. That you will only take jobs that meet your criteria for a “good place to work.” Policies are the rules of the road and force you to think through how you will conduct it.

Having these activity goals and policies will help you see your progress and give you factual data about what is working — reducing your frustration.

Use a tool to support your search

There are a lot of moving parts in a job search. How do you keep track of the jobs you applied for? The conversations you had within your business network about the job search? Who is in your targeted company that could help you?

The answer to that is a job search tool. Now, my favorite is JibberJobber.com. It is a tool that is extremely useful for managing your business network and then, when it is time to look for a job, supports your plan to find the job. It is a complete career tool, not just a job search tool.

Tools give you support; that is why they are called tools. Having the right tool for the right job goes a long way towards reducing frustration whether the tool is building a house or searching for a job.

Nothing reduces frustration like finding a job

As with any big project, a job search will have its ups and downs. What is going great one day is not going great the next day. When you think you have the answer, you end up with more questions. All of that is normal. Having a plan, setting up activity goals and using a job search tool will go a long way in reducing your frustration, giving you good facts to review and keeping you on the right track.

How do you damp down the job search frustrations?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.