Whether your unemployed, have made a new year’s resolution or seen enough good news about improvements in the labor market, you have set a goal for 2011 to obtain new job. Congratulations and best of luck. Here are a couple of thoughts to help make the search easier on both your short-and- long-term mental health.
Establish Several Ways to Measure Your Progress. With the goal of a new job, sometimes a job seeker sets the only criteria for success as the job offer. Make sure this does not lead you to keep giving yourself “failing” grades. Your search will likely face a longer and more difficult search than you have previously and will need positive signs of progress to sustain your energy.
For both your search and longer term career management, you will need to grow your network. This provides several opportunities to set some goals and monitor improvements. Set goals for new contacts made, expansion of LinkedIn connection, Professional groups joined. Want to try something brand new; Start your own job search group, either online or one that meets on a regular schedule. Watching such a group grow can be very rewarding.
Take a class or training designed to increase your skill sets. In addition to beefing up your résumé, you have another ongoing activity designed toward your goal that allows you to see progress.
Make Sure Your Search has more Definition than Desperation. In 2011, many of the long-term unemployed face ever increased financial pressures. In addition, employed individuals at many companies are overworked and underappreciated and can’t wait to get away from such an environment. But despite however difficult your situation has become, beware of letting your need to “get a job” or “get out of this place” cloud your judgment in evaluating job opportunities.
Start any job search by outlining criteria for the setting where you can best perform based primarily on where you have performed best and been the happiest in the past. If you currently work in a difficult environment, define what makes the situation intolerable so that you can determine whether a new opportunity will be more of the same. Share this information with colleagues you trust to confide in. As hard as it may be to hear, such an individual can point out if some of your expectations might be unrealistic or that you might face similar situations no matter where you go. By considering such feedback and applying defined criteria to your opportunities will help you evaluate them more objectively as well as decrease the possibility of jumping “out of the frying pan into the fire.”
One indicator of the increased desperation levels in the labor market I follow is StaffCentrix. This group researches the validity of work from home opportunities. Their current “Scam-O-Meter” listed on their ratracerebellion.com page reports a 61:1 ratio of scams to legitimate opportunities. A great indicator of how desperate decision can cloud judgment, opening more opportunities for such predatory tactics