Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Being The CEO of Y-O-U!

Be Persistent and Focused in Your Career Search

The CaptainImage by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I'm turning over the podium this morning to the delightful Meghan M. Biro, Founder and Principal at TalentCulture.

I've been bugging her to write something for me for a while and I was pleasantly surprised to open my mail box this morning and find this post.

Her message: Persistence Pays Off

Are you making your career search a real full-time job?

Today's uncertain economic climate is difficult for all, but it is undoubtedly more complex and challenging for career seekers. Candidates are more concerned than ever with finding the "right fit" and are more motivated to spend time making informed decisions on the next role - an area in which an experienced career coach can be of help.

Before you turn to a coach, accept that a career search is your new full-time role. Often times career seekers call my office frustrated with their search. A person might say, "I have an impeccable resume, useful industry connections, and a track record of hard work. That?s how I got to this place in my career. I am sending out several resumes each week, yet I feel like I am getting nowhere fast in my search."

It takes more than just "smarts" or "the right contacts" to get to the next level in your career - it takes the effort and passion you'd bring to any other role.

Often times I find that people are not putting in the consistent time and process each week needed to research, network, connect and submit resumes. It is no longer enough to passively respond to job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder.

New media has opened up avenues of opportunity for career seekers to actively research relevant industry contacts, company profile information and feedback. This groundwork can make the difference between success in a career search and frustration.

Most people, when asked, confess to spending about 15-20 hours/week on career search activity. A full-time search can become boring and repetitive. It's easy to lose focus after hearing rejection, or worse - no feedback at all. But it's critically important to focus the same amount of time and energy on your search as you would a full-time job - at least 40 hours a week.

Create a weekly routine and try to stick with it. If you need support - and we all do at some point - set up a system where a friend, advisor, or mentor acts as your career manager.

Know that every few weeks you will be accountable for a certain number of resume submittals, hours of research, and in-person or online time connecting with relevant people in your industry. Schedule weekly meetings a few months ahead of time and hold yourself to a weekly schedule.

And don't lose heart!

The average career search takes at least a few months - sometimes up to 12 months or more - depending on your industry niche and career level. Remind yourself that the keys to a successful career search are still persistence and regular follow-up, with a foundation built on crafting a compelling, authentic online career portfolio/brand.

Remember it may still be a numbers and persistence game to find your next opportunity.

And take heart: you are the CEO/entrepreneur of your own career destination. Use your time wisely, diversify your approach and re-strategize. Good luck, stay positive and make it happen starting today!

Meghan M. Biro, Principal
TalentCulture, LLC
One Mifflin Place
119 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 400, Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138
O: 617.576.5772 F: 617.812.4664


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