The success “secret”
What’s the one secret ingredient that some people have that others don’t have that makes them more successful in their overall career?
They don’t leave things up to “chance” or the “universe”.
They’re not waiting around for a job to fall in their lap – they go out there and hunt it down.
They know they can’t rely on job postings and that networking (done the right way) will yield better results.
They’re also not getting too comfortable in their current situation, no matter how “secure” it appears or how much they love it. They position themselves – just “in case”.
Don’t get blindsided
Job security is largely a myth. Nothing is 100% secure, especially with all of the changes that companies, the economy, and the job search landscape is experiencing.
It’s no secret that anyone can be suddenly hit with a job loss or the position changes in a way that’s no longer desirable.
So, what can you do to ensure you don’t get blindsided by a sudden and unexpected change in your situation?
While you might not have 100% control over external forces, there are certainly things you can do to significantly mitigate events and soften the blow.
The crazy thing that savvy, career-minded people do
Like the late and great Zig Ziglar quoted, “Success is when opportunity meets preparedness”. This applies to anything in life and especially in your job.
But what does this look like exactly?
When I tell you, you’re going to think I’ve lost my mind and it’s a stupid idea, but believe me, it’s one of the most effective strategies that a smart, career minded person implements.
Pretend and act like you are UNEMPLOYED or about to lose your job.
Nothing kicks you in the butt faster to get your ducks in a row than the prospect of zero pay check for an undetermined amount of time.
Keep in mind that the stats say that the average person is between jobs for about 5 months, so you do that math. That’s a lot of potential income you could lose if you don’t prepare for it.
You need to position yourself NOW for a future role in the event that the sh*t hits the fan and your current job is at risk or your situation changes and you need to find another opportunity.
This isn’t being negative, it’s being smart. There’s a difference.
If the writing is on the wall that there’s a layoff or company shutdown on the horizon, your best course of action might be to quit before you get laid off. But you will have to weigh the options between leaving and staying and what makes sense in your specific situation.
The 7 top steps to being proactive (i.e. pretend you are unemployed)
#1: Determine what your career direction will be.
Will you transition into the same kind of role in the same kind of industry or do you want to make a total career change?
The latter will require a much more robust strategy so that’s something you will need to take time to address.
#2: Get your career marketing tools in order
Create a strong, ATS-friendly modern résumé that’s finely targeted to your desired position. Ditto for the cover letter.
Make sure your Linkedin profile is optimized, targeted and consistent with your branded résumé.
This way, when you are faced with a change in your employment situation, you’re not scrambling at the 11th hour trying to get your documents together which can take a considerable amount of time especially if they need to be completely re-done (which is the case most of the time).
Remember – Time is of the essence. You don’t want to miss any great opportunities because you were asleep at the wheel.
#3: Get your list together
Create a list of companies you want to target.
Identify who the hiring managers are and anyone else that makes sense, like HR and 3rd party recruiters who specialize in your target field.
Linkedin in a great place to find this information quickly and easily.
#4: Build your Linkedin network
Connect with the people you’ve identified in #3 and also with anyone else you feel could help you and be a resource in the event you are looking to make a career move.
#5: Start a conversation with your connections
Introduce yourself. Start a bit of a conversation. It’s about creating and nurturing a “warm” network that will be more receptive to you when you need to call on them for help.
#6: Be active on Linkedin
Engage on a consistent basis whether it’s once a day or once a week. I recommend at least once per week otherwise you won’t get much traction.
Comment on others’ posts and share them with your connections.
Be of service which means offering help where you can. You need to be a giver and not just a taker.
Publish interesting and relevant content through the updates (posts) and/or long-form articles.
The point of being active on Linkedin is to demonstrate your knowledge and experience to key people in your target field, some of whom are hiring managers.
The other reason is to “prime” your network so that when you are in a job search mode, you can reach out to them for help without feeling awkward.
Remember: People like to help people they know, like, and trust.
#7: Prep your references
Have at least 3 or 4 solid references that have been vetted ahead of time.
Get reference letters that you can keep on file. You should have also spoken directly to your referees to make sure they are still willing to give you a verbal reference if required.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.
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