Now that’s you’ve graduated you might be kicking back and enjoying the summer (or other season’s) weather. But the job search is a marathon, a real project you need to manage. Here are a couple of ideas to get you kick-started and on your way before the end of the year creeps up on you!
1. Don’t wait until the fall to get started.
It might be tempting to hang for the summer and get serious in the fall. But by September we are just a skooch away from the end of the year. As you get into November and December some organizational processes, including hiring, may slow down.
People are in an out of the office, and many are trying to wrap pressing year-end projects. Hiring may become a lower priority. If so, it may be harder for you to get their attention.
Finally, in a recent survey, when grads were asked what they would have done differently in their job search, the majority said they would have started earlier. A job search is not a short-term proposition. The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll start seeing progress!
2. Manage your job search like a project.
Even if you’re in a stop-gap job, your full-time job search is now, well, your full-time job. And you’ve got a lot of work to do before you ever submit a resume or show up for an interview. What does that entail?
- You need to get clear on your interests, passions, and strengths. You need to understand the qualities you want in a work environment. You should research industries, and specific organizations you are interested in.
- Then you’ve got to develop your marketing materials: your resume, your cover letters, your linked in profile, your interview story-telling. You need to develop any social media tools you are using. Your messages about yourself should be consistent, “one-voice” whether on-line or off-line.
- You must identify a network of connections that might be able to help you, and develop a strategy for developing that network.
- Identify activities that you will do EACH DAY toward that end, commit them to your calendar, and protect that time as sacred. Project management is just taking a large body of work and slicing it into pieces, so you can tackle a good chunk each day.
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3. Find a tribe.
It might feel a bit isolating to do all this now that you are without the comfort and companionship of the university campus. It can be hard to take on a big project like this on your own. So, find a tribe to help you through.
Find a group of folks going through same process, meet with them weekly. Report on what you’ve done in the past week, and your goals for the next. This sense of social accountability will help keep your head in the game, and, create a sense of momentum about your job search.
You’ll want to be in a group of recent grads who are going through the same process, as your needs are a bit unique and you are developing your story as a career starter, rather than a career or job changer.
Where to find job seeker groups:
- Check with young professional organizations in your area.
- Church and community groups may sponsor job seeker groups.
- Start your own. Put a note out on MeetUp or Craigslist and form your own group.
A tribe can encourage you, support you when things are down, and help you identify what’s going on in the market that could help you. They also may have connections that might be helpful to you (and vice versa).
Ok, so get started now. Don’t wait, and let me know how it’s going!
Leave a comment below and let me know what specific actions you are taking to launch your job search project!