Have you ever wondered what career coaches know that the average job seeker may not?
We’ve learned some things from watching many, many different people navigate challenges, job searches and career transitions and these lessons aren’t limited simply to tactics or strategies.⠀
Career coaches observe lessons in being brave, failure, fear, risk, asking for help, trying something new, showing up, and changing your mind all of the time.
But most people only get to see the details of their own job search.⠀
Inspired by a recent week of posts over on my Work Wonders Instagram
, I’m sharing five lessons that I’ve learned as a career coach and strategist to help you get your job search started.
Lesson No. 1: Something is better than nothing⠀
When you’re not sure what the next step is, career coaches know that something is better than nothing. Here are some easy ways to get started.
- Brainstorm a list of possibilities. Feasibility doesn’t matter right now – just get those creative juices flowing.⠀
- Talk to some friends or colleagues who enjoy their work or made successful transitions of their own. See what lessons you can learn from people in your network.⠀
- Keep a journal. Pay attention to how different parts of your work + day make you feel. After a few weeks, see if you notice any patterns. You can also check out my post, 5 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Job Search.
- Ask for feedback from colleagues or mentors. Being in the wrong job can leave us feeling depleted and lacking in confidence. People who know us well can remind us what we bring to the table.⠀
- Try something new. For fun. Head to a museum, go for a hike, take a day trip to a new town. Open yourself up to learning about new people, places and things. See what happens.⠀
Lesson No.2 : It will take time + persistence. ⠀
Yes, a job search can take time.
And some doggedness. ⠀
Career coaches and professionals know that’s okay and that you are more than capable of the work required (even if thinking about it feels overwhelming!).
Instead of stressing or lamenting, “How long will it take?!” here are some other questions we might ask you:⠀
- What can I do to move myself forward faster?⠀
- How can I show more patience with myself?⠀
- Are my expectations reasonable? Am I putting to much pressure on myself?⠀
- Am I consistently taking action?⠀
- How can I enjoy the process right now?⠀
- What big moves can I make right now, that might be a little bit outside of my comfort zone?⠀
Focus on what you can control. It will help the time pass more quickly.
Lesson No.3: The sooner you ask for help, the better.⠀
Looking for a new job doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. ⠀
In fact, career coaches know that it’s way better if it’s not.⠀
Let’s be honest: left on our own to “think” things through, we end up focusing on worst-case-scenarios, lots of “research,” and not much action.⠀
Here are some ways to engage other people in your job search:⠀
- Ask your friends what they like + don’t like about their own work. Use their responses to help you reflect on your own interests ⠀⠀
- Sign up for a networking night/conference/class to help improve your skills and meet new people
- Spend some time hanging out on LinkedIn and see what your former colleagues are up to. Send them notes to congratulate them on new jobs + catch up ⠀
- Work with a career professional Get answers to your questions and feedback on your search strategies. Your college will probably have one you can access for free. (Or you know, DM me and we can see if we’re a good match to work together!)⠀
- Be social during your job search Accept fun invitations You never know who you’ll meet!⠀
Lesson No. 4: It will all make sense eventually. ⠀
Think you’ve taken the wrong job? ⠀
Feel like you went in the wrong direction or missed a chance to make a transition?⠀
Once you set aside the fear that you’ve made some kind irreparable mistake to your career/life (and trust me, career coaches know that you probably haven’t), we can start to explore the motivations, hopes and changes that led to each of your decisions, including your current search.⠀
Connecting the dots with this information is what helps your story make sense, to you and to potential employers.⠀
You can start this process yourself with my free workshop, Job Search Like a Boss.
If you’re worried that you’ve made a career mistake, consider the following questions:⠀
- Why did you take your current position?⠀
- Why isn’t your current role working for you? What would you like less of?⠀
- What kind of environment do you hope to experience in your next role?⠀
- What’s working right now?⠀⠀
Focus on what matters to you – and the story will make sense ⠀
Lesson No. 5: Job seeking shouldn’t be a full time job⠀
It’s tempting to think if we just spend more time + energy wishing, hoping, applying, and networking, the right job will come along a lot sooner.⠀
And while more time can definitely be helpful, career coaches know that it’s important to have a life, even if you’re in the middle of a career transition.⠀
- Read a book.
- Go to the gym.
- Binge on Netflix.
- Catch up with your friends.
- Have a cocktail.⠀
You deserve a great job + a great life! That’s the whole point of a strategic job search.
Use this time to restore your energy so that you’re focused on your your job search when you need to be.⠀
If you need a strategic, efficient and effective way to launch your job search, be sure to sign up for my free, on-demand workshop, Job Search Like a Boss
. It will walk you through a five part cycle that will help you land your next job.