It is just that some “plans” are vague, unformed, and unproductive. Let us call that a “non-plan”. It is a plan, yes, but mostly ineffective; a non-plan is the exact kind of plan that guarantees that your job search takes forever.
In a non-plan job search, the candidate, let’s call him Henry, checks the newspaper (maybe the real paper kind) and perhaps the ad consolidators on the Internet for jobs related to his/her job function. Henry sends out resumes in response to the ads. Then sits back and waits for the phone to ring.
Henry gets more and more frustrated as he watches his unemployment checks wither away along with his savings. His embarrassment over his predicament makes him second-guess his every move. His confidence takes a nose-dive. If he is called for an interview, Henry barely keeps his chin off his shoes apologizing for his very existence, not listening, and not knowing how to display his skills and background in a way that makes him stand out against his competition. Henry and others like him can be out of work for a long, long time.
Plans are just lists of choices and decisions that must be made. The candidate with a “non-plan” made specific choices along the way. Unfortunately, they are choices and decisions that sidetracked the search. Let’s consider these non-plan tactics:
- Choosing to answer ads instead of more effective search techniques
- Not really knowing what he wants or where to find it
- Not effectively using his time
- Not understanding what he offers employers or how to express it
- Allowing his situation to impact his self-confidence
A “non-plan” is a bad plan. Do yourself a favor and make a real plan that works for you instead of against you.