Finding your next employment opportunity can often take time. In fact, looking for a job can often be classified as a job itself. It can be a time of frustration, uncertainty and even fear. Despite the frustration, uncertainty and fear, you must not give up. Your mental approach to the job search is often an overlooked element in finding the next opportunity. Keeping a focused mind and determined attitude comprise the foundation from which your search can begin.
Here are some things you can do that will help in your job search and hopefully land that next opportunity:
- First of all, you’ve got to have a plan. It’s one thing to look for a job; it’s another to have a systematic approach to the job search. Once you’ve developed your plan, you have to work the plan. Target an industry, company or area.
- Do your research to prepare yourself and then focus 100 percent of your effort on being proactive instead of reactive. Find out as much as you can about the company you’re interested in. Obtain information from its web site or by talking to someone who works for the company (preferably the latter). By increasing your knowledge of the company, you’ll have a better idea of how your skills fit within the organization. Once you obtain this knowledge, visit the company if at all possible. If you know someone who works there, try to meet with him and let him know what you’re looking to do; perhaps lunch would be an ideal time. This is a way to be proactive and learn more about the culture of the company. It may also yield information on a potential opening.
- Next, you’ve got to see the value in yourself. You are talented, skilled and valuable in your own right. Being temporarily out of work should, by no means, diminish the belief you have in yourself.
- Remain confident in your abilities and know that you bring something of value to a potential employer. You have to be open to the possibilities of doing something different. Although you may have experience in a particular field, sometimes the next opportunity is in an entirely different industry. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and pursue opportunities in different fields.
- When networking with other people, ask for a referral. Explain the type of work you’ve done and are looking to do in the future. Also ask if there is a person to whom you can deliver your resume. The goal is simply to connect with people who can make a decision – in this case, the hiring decision. Your mind has to be focused on creating the opportunity, instead of waiting for the opportunity.
As you continue your job search, always be ready for your opportunity. Whitney Young said, “It is better to be prepared and not have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Your mental preparation can go a long way in preparing your for that opportunity.
Take advantage of the workshops that are offered at Charlotte Works to improve your interviewing skills, resume and even attitude.
This is the time to buckle down and keep striving. Don’t give up on your search. Don’t give up on your dreams and don’t give up on yourself. You are going to make it! Your best is yet to come!
In his more than seven years working in employment and training, Training Coordinator Mark Greer has worked with Gaston Skills in Gastonia, N.C., and RHA Howell in Charlotte, N.C., as an employment specialist/job coach and then as a talent development consultant for ResCare, Inc. in Salisbury, N.C. At Charlotte Works, he aids clients who have come to an impasse: they can’t find work without additional skills training. Greer motivates his clients by helping them develop a plan of action to reach their job goals, teaching them how to map out a course and complete the steps necessary for success. He enjoys golfing, self-defense and studying the behaviors of ants. Greer also has a passion for motivational speaking. Philosophy and human thought processes fascinate him and are additional tools he uses professionally.