Job search is a complex process and – unfortunately in today’s market, most likely – a longer-than-you-thought process, too. A typical job search process has many phases. Roughly speaking, they include assessing, planning, preparing, marketing, interviewing, and negotiating.
Job search process is complex because these phases are more iterative than linear. You will be pursing multiple job leads simultaneously. Each of them will be in different stage of progression. You might be interviewing for one job while just learning about another exciting opportunities.
It’s also complex because you will be interacting with many people. Your relationships with your contacts will change throughout the process. A person might be a friend of a friend to you last month, and next week she might very well be a hiring manger, sitting across a conference room table from you.
As a job seeker, you probably will conduct thousands of activities for the sake of finding your next job. When tackling a complicated and intensive process like this, it’s crucial for job seekers to recognize the importance of having a cohesive and consistent strategy. Why? Because, without a strategy and a structured and holistic approach, your activities can quickly become unfocused and, as a result, prolong your search.
For example, if you have been using Google to get advice on your job search, you’re conducting your job search in an unstructured manner. First of all, the volume of advice you get from Googling is overwhelming. Second, you will see very different and often conflicting advice.
Since you don’t have an overall job search strategy, you have no way to judge whether a piece of advice is suitable for your unique situation. When you seek advice in piecemeal and apply it without a clear strategy, you run into the danger of wasting your time and energy. Your effort and hard work can quickly become aimless, unfocused and, even worse, lead you in the wrong direction.
If you have not been thinking about having an overall strategy and holistic approach to your job search, now it’s time to start developing it. It’s not too late. Once you have a strategic approach, all of your actions will be working together toward building up your success. Now, that’s the smart way to job search and the surest path to reach your success.