Staying Motivated
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November 23, 2010

The Secrets to Staying Motivated in a Stressful Job Search

Secret #2: Networking-Still the Best Strategy

5 Easy Steps That Work

Staying motivated in the job hunt can be challenging.  But don't give up -- especially now!  The holiday season is a great time to continue, or even double, your efforts. 

What!?!  Am I crazy?

Not at all!  Recruiters report that a substantial number of candidates put their searches on hold at year-end.  Stay active and you enjoy a vital edge.  Fewer competitors means the odds are in your favor when it comes to getting your resume noticed and landing interviews. 

So go easy on the eggnog and don't count on finding a job under the tree.  Instead, here are some easy steps you can take right away to stay active and productive in your search.  In the previous issue, I shared with you Secret #1 to staying motivated:  

Secret #1: You DO have POWER in your search.
(Missed it?  Simply click on Secret 1 above and to the right on this page.)

In this issue and the next one, you'll discover more strategies you can apply to stay energized and positive.  Like this one:

Secret #2: 
Networking is still the best strategy.

Networking -- you can't beat it.  There's no better way to get your foot in the door.  Hate to network?  Don't worry.  E-mail makes it a whole lot easier.  No more cold-calling.  No more making nice with annoying Uncle Hedwich.  A few clicks of your fingers and you're on your way.  Here are some simple steps you can take right now -- some new, some old, all effective. 

  1. Get in touch and stay in touch with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, co-workers from previous jobs.  A few days after I redid Kevin M.'s resume, he sent it to his brother who forwarded it to a golfing buddy.  Two interviews later, Kevin was hired.  
     
  2. Connect with classmates and alumni offices from your alma maters as well as professional associations, religious and community organizations.  Tom S., a Resume Room client and recent college grad, is using his alumni network to land an impressive number of interviews, especially considering the niche field he's pursuing.
     
  3. Create a spreadsheet to track contact information along with the dates you've been in touch, results produced and follow-up steps.  Add reminders to your calendar on the days you should get in touch again so you don't forget.  
     
  4. Tailor your LinkedIn profile so that colleagues have a convenient site to which to refer people -- a kind of simplified one "site" shopping.  Including a photo makes you seem real and approachable; just be sure it's appropriate for the level of work you're seeking.  Beth R. simply cut and pasted the profile and accomplishments I wrote for her resume onto her LinkedIn profile...brilliant!  (Need help creating a profile?  We do that, too.)  
     
  5. E-mail periodic updates on your search to everyone on your networking list to remind them that you are still actively looking.  A resume and interview prep client of mine, Dave M., sends regular reports to all those in his network to ensure that he's in the forefront of their minds.  After all, you never know which note at which moment might spark an idea or connection that could prove fruitful. 

Although some of the jobhunters I coach admit they hate to network, they also admit it's by far and away the
best way to discover openings before they're posted, meet decision-makers face-to-face and land a job. 

What's more, hearing back from your supporters on a regular basis lifts your spirits, helping you to stay motivated,
optimistic and active in your search!