Scott disappeared. Poof – just like that. We organized his job search, created his job search materials then… nothing.
Scott was stuck. Or rather, Scott’s job search was stuck and it was dragging him down into the job search sink hole. You know the place.
I was there once. I remember as clear as if it was yesterday. I was standing on the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Chicago when the 11:30 clock struck and a million people streamed out of offices into the bright summer sun. It occurred to me that everyone in that crowd had a job except me. I never felt so low.
I was stuck. Being stuck feels terrible.
You send your resume away to dozens of open jobs that sound perfect, but nothing happens. Since you don’t know why this is happening, the human brain starts filling in the gaps with possible reasons why you are still unemployed while thousands of others have jobs. “I must be too something.” “Too old.” “Too young.” “Too female.” “Too male.” “Too dark.” “Too light.” You want to find a reason.
But usually those “somethings” are not the reason. You just need to get “unstuck.” Fast.
Getting unstuck involves changing what you are doing. Any change might be the right change to get you unstuck.
Here are some tips:
Create or change your job search marketing plan.
- Change the balance of time you devote to networking and responding to postings. Try to network at least 70% of the time. That forces you to change your focus and increase your activity.
- Set daily and weekly goals to increase your networking activity.
- Identify target companies and start meeting people and building relationships, even though those companies do not currently have open positions. The conversations could lead to introductions to other people and increase your activity.
- Start talking to your existing LinkedIn connections and add more connections. Be curious so you ask questions that get other people talking to you.
- Schedule some informational interviews with people who work in your field. People will respond when you ask interesting questions professional to professional.
Get out of the house.
- Join a job seekers group to find other folks in similar circumstances who might have more ideas.
- Get active in a professional association. These groups welcome volunteers so raise your hand.
- Volunteer to get out of the house, do something useful and meet new people. Pick anything just pick something!
- Move your office to a new space every day or periodically. Go to a coffee shop or the library to get some new scenery.
- Get out of the house every day for some exercise. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or find a park to walk in. The change of scenery can help your perspective.
Be more aware.
- Find something to celebrate every week.
- Start journaling to see what is sucking up your time and how you might change your viewpoint so you see the world more positively.
- Seek out a coach for unbiased feedback about your job search strategy. Maybe they can think of something you overlooked.