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Are you spending nights and weekends on LinkedIn searching company after company while refreshing Indeed? Are you not only obsessively checking every job search site but also starting at your inbox because you haven’t yet received a response from any company you've emailed? Congratulations! You’ve entered the black hole!
Don’t worry, though; the black hole is very easy to escape as long as you go around it. And since this is a rather stressful experience, I’d rather give you tips and words of encouragement than tell you about the mistakes you may be making.
Here are some ideas:
Check out Meetup or Eventbrite if you’re in a major tech hub check out the BuiltIn (City) and search for free events. You’ll be able to meet and mingle with people who have a common interest and may be searching for a referral for a new role at their company. Remember to “give” twice before any “ask”. This is a great opportunity to establish and maintain relationships and be sure to follow up with any gives.
Use LinkedIn strategically. With LinkedIn’s new face lift you can search for people, jobs, companies, salaries while maintaining your entire network. You can also let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities by going to your home page then to Jobs > Jobs You May Be Interested In > Update Preferences > Toggle On (Let Recruiters Know You’re Open). From here feel free to put any job title that you’re interested in, along with your skill set.
Organize your job search from your wish list in a company and whom you’ve had coffee with. A simple excel or google doc will work wonders when keeping track of who and where you’ve met someone, what companies you are interested in, who you’ve interviewed with and any timeline in regards to application closings. This will come in handy when you’re writing a follow up, thank you email or maintaining your overall network.
Be accountable to yourself. Schedule yourself to go to X number of networking events, outreach to X number of people and apply to X number to jobs online per week (with a cover letter). By creating a weekly stretch goal and rewarding yourself for meeting your goals, you will be more motivated to accomplish mini tasks. Here’s an example, for every coffee meeting that turns into a job referral, I would reward myself with a my favorite latte or sign up for a drop in spin class.
Be sure you have a focus; whether it’s a specific role, industry or responsibility. Being a Subject Matter Expert (SME) will allow you to be more sought after by potential employers and gives you more credibility to any new role. Having a particular focus in your next role will allow you to overcome decision fatigue and be 100% dedicated to your search.
Molly is a Career Coach specializing in relationship building, communication, emotional intelligence and goal making. When not working, you can find her adventuring Chicago's hidden gems, playing pick-up soccer with friends and making plans to travel around the world.
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