Have you completed the challenging strategy work involved in revising and testing a Personal Business Model?
If so, now it’s time to shift to tactics: the hands-on search for new or different work.
As you move ahead with your search, you’re almost sure to receive rejection letters, fail to secure meetings, and have recommendations from key contacts fall through. Everybody does.
Minor setbacks like these can trigger cookie-snacking binges, frantic bouts of house-cleaning, or other time-wasting activities that slow your progress (and grow your waistline!).
So here are six work search “maintenance” tips, courtesy of career consultant extraordinaire Bruce Hazen. Consistently acting on these tips will keep you fresh and productive when your search turns mechanical, routine, or low-energy. Seeking work is, after all, hard work. Just like keeping a car or bicycle running smoothly, regular maintenance will keep you performing at your peak:
1. Attend a professional event where most of the people are NOT from your industry or profession.
If you always associate with people in the same profession or industry, you won’t appear unique. What’s more, you’ll discuss and compete for work that’s already visible among your colleagues. But attend a meeting outside your usual circle, and suddenly you’re a curiosity — with a better chance to discover undetected work.
2. Contact all your key networking partners monthly.
The most successful work-seekers are those who keep their networks “warm and informed,” so that the leads and tips keep on coming. Why would someone keep you in mind if they haven’t heard from you?
3. Record and listen to yourself answering tough interview questions.
Your Value Proposition and your accomplishment stories will always sound good in the privacy of your own head. So try recording them into your voicemail to hear what you sound like on a telephone interview. Better yet, record and study a video of yourself answering tough interview questions.
4. Create multiple, customized versions of your CV.
People who hire want to see CVs that speak to the unique needs of their organizations. The days of one-size-fits-all CVs are long gone. Customize your CV for each opportunity.
5. Spend between 25 to 35 hours a week actively seeking work.
Thirty hours a week is the “sweet spot” for a full-time work search. Do more than that and you’ll risk fatigue or burnout and fail to present yourself well. But you’re fooling yourself if you devote fewer than 20 hours per week to your search. If you were running a business and needed new customers, would you only do sales and marketing half-time?
6. Do some sweat-inducing physical exercise at least every other day.
Searching for work is a “contact sport” — you’ve got to look and act fit if you expect to be an attractive prospect. If you’re not exercising regularly now, find an accountability partner or fitness buddy and get moving.
There you have them: six tips to keep your work search humming along. Try these over the coming weeks, then stand by for more tips from Bruce later this month.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet revised your personal business model, please consider joining us next year for in-person workshops in Munich, Barcelona, or Amsterdam. And if you’re unable to travel, consider our Redesign Your Career online course.