For most people, there is a “lull” of activity at work during this time of year. And if you are unemployed, your activity may have come to a screeching halt. Don’t worry though, this may be an excellent time to plan and prepare for the beginning of a new year surge in job search activity.
Google defines surge as “a sudden powerful forward or upward movement…” For a surge to be effective, planning is necessary. Rather than spending the extra time you might have right now visiting the same Holiday venues you saw last year and the year before, take a look at your job search plan and see what renovations are needed.
Did you say “job search plan?” Why, yes I did. An effective job search campaign is not just simply going “out there” and completing applications live or online, but rather spending quality time and careful planning to achieve the most desirable results. A successful job search plan involves three main ingredients: (1) setting goals, (2) managing your time and (3) working your plan.
Goals provide purpose, clarity, and direction. Research has shown over and over again that people who set goals are usually successful. Even further, people who have written goals are even more successful. The goals you set should achievable, realistic and flexible.
- Achievable goals are neither too easy nor too difficult to achieve. An individual should have the satisfaction of seeing the fruit of their labor – of course a goal that’s too easy has no labor whereas a goal that is too difficult can never be achieved.
- Realistic goals are ones that support the career path you have chosen. Similar to being achievable, realistic goals should be along the path of our intention – otherwise we may find ourselves lost.
- Flexible goals allow you to capitalize on opportunities that arise as well as react accordingly to change. Often times if our goals are so rigid, we may be blind to an “open door” offering opportunities in a similar but different path. Similarly, without flexibility we can be so frustrated by change that we lose hold of our goals altogether.
Managing your time
We have considered setting goals, and perhaps you have some in mind with the three ingredients mentioned above – great! Now, we can begin to think about managing our time. According to Stephen D. Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1994), a system was introduced by Dwight D. Eisenhower to help identify things that are (1) urgent and important, (2) not urgent but important, (3) urgent but not important, and (4) not urgent and not important. Identifying and placing your schedule into those 4 quadrants will help to manage your time.
Working your plan
Now that we’ve set goals and have a better more organized picture of how to go about it, we can begin working our plan. Can you guess what the biggest deterrent to working the plan is? Procrastination. Unless we follow through and begin our plan, it just sits there. Procrastination is the easiest way for something not to happen – but is also the easiest stumbling-block to overcome! As the famous shoe maker so aptly states: “just do it.”
For more information, please visit the Workforce Solutions website.
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.