I recently received my Life Coaching Certification, and I had many people ask me how this is helpful for me as a Talent Attraction Expert. It helps me because the skill of coaching is useful throughout the hiring process. My intention is to help those who are hiring or those who are looking for jobs, and I use my life coaching skills every day in both regards.
What I have discovered is that not only do companies not know the best practices and processes for hiring, it is not intuitive for those seeking jobs either. I get asked all of the time, “Where do I start my job search?” or, “ how do I conduct a powerful job search?” In light of this, I thought it might be helpful to share four simple steps to a successful job search, so here they are:
- Inventory your skills and attributes
- Inventory your network
- Manage your thoughts
- Take action daily
Now let’s take a look at what is involved in each of these key steps.
1. Inventory Your Skills and Attributes
I recommend that you sit down and make a list of your top 5-10 skills. For example, one of mine is the skill to coordinate enterprise-level projects. Another skill I have is the ability to create and sell new offers. I would start by writing each of these on a piece of paper, then further defining what that means. In terms of coordinating enterprise-level projects, I would make a few key bullet points underneath, such as using Base Camp to outline each strategy, obstacle, solution and tactic.
Once you have identified your 5-10 skills, take a few minutes to list your top 5-10 attributes, i.e. what you think helps you achieve your results. For example, one of my attributes is tenacity. I would write down tenacity, and then I would include an example of where tenacity has helped produce a key result in one of my previous jobs.
Once you have completed this inventory, you can use this data to update your resumé, LinkedIn Profile and any other documents that will be helpful during your job search.
2. Inventory Your Network
One of the things I find is most important for job search and career success in general is having a powerful and engaged network. We can see the power of this through social media, but often we forget that our network is one of the most powerful tools we have in life. I recommend that you start by making a list of anyone you know who has worked with you or would say positive things about you, either personally or professionally. Write these names down, and go to LinkedIn and make sure you are connected with each of them. If you are not, send a note to connect with them.
Once you have inventoried your network, you can begin to communicate with them to find out if they know of anyone who might be looking for someone with your skills and attributes. I have created a system that works wonders called “The Who Do You Know Who” process. You can learn how to use it here, as I wrote about it in one of my previous blogs.
3. Manage Your Thoughts
I am reminded on a daily basis how stressful it is if you are looking for work. Even if you are currently employed and seeking your next opportunity, it can be a daunting task. And for those that are unemployed and looking for work, it can often be a process filled with overwhelm and doubt.
Job seekers often say,” I don’t know what to do,” “I am overwhelmed,” “I am paralyzed with self-doubt,” and then wonder why they are not getting any interviews. One way to combat negative thoughts is to take 10-15 minutes each day to do a thought download. Sit down and write down the thoughts you are having about your job search or career move. Once you have a thought download written down, circle any of the thoughts you are having that are factually true. You will notice that your thoughts are just that – thoughts. Very few of them are factually true.
When you notice the negative thoughts such as doubt, fear and overwhelm, allow yourself to feel and process them. Then, decide if these are the best thoughts to enable a successful job search. This is where the notion of a mantra (or new thought) can be helpful. Try thoughts such as
I am figuring it out
I know what to do
Also, remind yourself that doing something new is going to cause fear and anxiety by the sheer fact that it is not something you do every day. You can tell yourself, “I feel fearful, and that’s okay.” When we acknowledge that fear or uncertainty is a natural part of the process and are gentle with ourselves, it makes it easier to feel the fear and do it anyway.
4. Take Action Daily
Now that you have inventoried your skills, attributes and network, and have worked on your thoughts, you are armed for action! Remember, your thoughts create your feelings, and your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your results. Therefore, step one is deciding how you want to feel in order to take action. What thoughts do you need to think to feel confident, motivated, optimistic, and powerful? These thoughts can help produce actions that leads to positive results.
Some actions you can take daily in your job search…
- Have at least one “who do you know who” conversation every day. Contact one person from your network, and let them know you are looking for your next career opportunity, describe what you are looking for, and ask them if they know of anyone who might need someone like you. If they don’t know of a specific opportunity, you might ask who they know that you should meet to grow your network.
- Use LinkedIn or Indeed to search for new opportunities. You want to use your network and job ads to get as many “at bats” as possible. Using online sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Glass Door can be tools to research what is available in your market. If you find an ad that sounds interesting, I recommend going to LinkedIn and searching to see if you know anyone who works at that company. Then you could contact them as a way to be referred to the opportunity. A warm referral from someone is always more powerful than a cold application. As a job seeker, if you use these four easy steps, you will find that the journey to your next opportunity will be a way to grow yourself, your network and your skills.
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