How Long Does This Take?
The first time I heard that expression many years ago, I remember thinking, How ironic. At the time, I’m not sure I understood exactly what it meant. But after years of experience on both sides of the desk—as job applicant and as hiring manager—I’ve come to appreciate the significance of those words. You may believe that you are “unemployed” right now. And by definition, you are. However, you do have a full-time occupation—finding the right position. It’s a process. And as we begin this journey together, I need you to understand the commitment you are making.
It’s going to take a lot of time and effort. Most paid positions require at least eight hours a day, five days a week; a productive search requires the same level of dedication. Forty hours? This may seem like overkill. What could you possibly be doing that would take this long? Don’t worry, the workbook that you have just started to read provides the framework you need. You will develop an effective campaign that will give you the necessary steps toward employment in a career that is right for you.
A Strategic Search
Based on your major in college, your specialty in trade school, or your favorite subjects in high school, you may think you know what type of work will make you happy. You may be right, but many people discover later that their true talents, strengths, and passion lie elsewhere.
Academia is not the real world.
Sometimes job seekers cast the net too wide, too narrow, or in the wrong direction entirely. Good grades in Accounting do not necessarily mean you will be happy in corporate finance. A degree in English doesn’t guarantee success as a professional writer. There may be positions you haven’t even considered because you’re limiting yourself to jobs in one specific field. Perhaps you majored in a field where positions are scarce, or later decided you majored in the wrong subject. What do you do then?
You start right here in this program. A successful search is strategic, not tactical. Some people believe this means thinking rather than doing. Not at all. You will be very active in the months ahead! I want you to think of this as a process. In some ways, this is similar to the process that you went through to achieve your college degree. When you started, you did not know every twist and turn in the road, but you discovered along the way. You learned which classes were best, how to study for exams, and how to approach your professors. You improved over time and each improvement contributed to achieving your degree. Similarly, your learning in the career search will contribute to securing that first job or next job change; it will also apply to your job search and selection throughout your career. What you are learning in this process are life skills.