5 bedrock rules for starting your job search

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Dec 15

How often have you seen a coworker get laid off — and not ready for everything that follows? They know they must start a new job search but they have not prepared at all for the work necessary to conduct one. Then we compare our situation to theirs and marvel at our luck at not getting laid off — because we were not ready to do a job search either.

Honestly, though, most pundits miss important points about preparing for a job search. Here is what it really takes — are you ready?

You document your business accomplishments — and not on corporate systems

Hiring managers want people who have demonstrated results. Results that are shown through numbers. Numbers like reducing expenses by 5%. Or reducing cycle time by 30% resulting in a savings of $10,000. Or $1,000,000.

Those numbers come from corporate reporting systems — operational reports to goal attainment reports to performance reviews. They come from corporate systems, but they can’t stay on corporate systems. They need to get on your resume because that is where you show your business accomplishments to hiring managers.

This does not mean you break business codes of conduct. It does mean you need high focus on your career needs and that starts with producing and reporting results that you can use to find the next job.

When your management team lays you off in the next hour through their impromptu meeting and then walk you and your personal stuff out the door, will you have your results?

You have a strong business network

Many, if not most, job openings are found through people’s business networks. Despite all the social media hype and the technology out there, people still find jobs through people.

Yet, most people don’t pay any attention to their business networks until they lose their job. Then, it is too late because the first rule of a good business network is that you have already helped out others in your network.

Get your business network to the point where they will help give you fanatical support.

You have strong financial resources

Seriously, there is nothing like a year’s take-home pay in the bank to relieve a whole bunch of stress in today’s job market. Because it might really take a year to find a job. Without the take-home pay in the bank, having a low level of debt, and living a financially conservative lifestyle, your choices in a job search quickly narrow. Desperation becomes your companion.

Having your financial house in order provides you the critical base upon which to build your job search.

You have good health

Having a job loss impacts your mental and physical health. Starting out a job search with poor health in place will make your health worse.

Now, we are where we are for health and for some they are in the middle of fighting something that needs fighting. It’s not like they chose to get sick and then have a layoff happen.

But most of us don’t take the preventative measures to enhance our health to the best of our ability, including me. We don’t exercise enough, we don’t eat the right portions of food to help control our weight and we don’t meditate to reduce the everyday stress. We don’t do the preventative checkups to find the bad stuff happening early enough so that worse problems won’t develop.

Health needs time and effort every day. Are you helping yourself stay healthy?

You have good relationships with your critical social network

Families are all over the place. Some people consider every blood relative as their family and others consider the person they are living with as their family. Others are not close to their family at all and consider their friends as the most important people in their lives.

The key is that in a job loss and a job search, support from those closest to you, family and friend, is critical. Who do you have as your critical relationships? How good are those relationships?

The better the relationship, the easier it is to work through the tough emotional issues of a job search and the more collaborative the decision to take the next right job.

Managing a job loss and job search is a Cubicle Warrior career skill

Let’s face it: we will all get laid off at some point in our career. And we will certainly know people who have been or will get laid off. All of us will consistently change jobs during the course of our work life.

But this is not your father’s economy, so to speak. Thus, we all need to adjust to get the critical foundation of managing job losses and searches right. These five foundations will help you work the job search with confidence.

What other ways can we support a good job search?

  • Rick Saia says:

    Nice post Scot! Regarding documenting business accomplishments: The best way for anyone to do this is to continually update your resume or use a “career journal.” Get all the details down before you forget them.

  • […] 5 bedrock rules for starting your job search13 hours ago by Scot Herrick  Most pundits miss important points about preparing for a job search. These 5 bedrock rules to start your job search will give you confidence to get that next job. […]

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