Career Advice: How To Win The Chase For A Job

No matter how you look at it, hunting a job is hard work. In fact, there's nothing easy about it, particularly in troubled times. There is never a smooth path between effort and reward. Setbacks and frustration are the order of the day. Success requires discipline, consistency of effort, energy and a big dose of positive thinking.

"It's easy to get discouraged, because in this market, getting hired will take longer than you thought," declares Tory Johnson, chief executive officer of Women For Hire and author of "Fired to Hired: Bouncing Back From Job Loss To Get To Work Right Now." "The danger is that you'll stop trying and start slacking."

There are 12 actions you can take to survive and prosper in the job marathon.

1. Recognize that it will take time--probably longer than you might have thought--to land a good job that fits your career plan.

2. Recognize that hunting a job is a job itself and act accordingly.

  • Establish and organize a workspace. Get the supplies you need such as printed stationery and business cards to create a first class resume and cover letter.
  • Keep regular hours at work just as if you were on a regular job.
  • Dress as you would for a regular job.

3. Back off and put your situation in perspective. It's not the end of the world. You are the same person, with all of your assets, you were before you lost your last job

4. Make a plan. Take an inventory of where you are in your career. Set goals as to where you would like to be at some point in the career future, say three years. Determine what it will take to fill the gap between those points.

5. Take at least one specific, measurable step toward you goal of getting a job each day.

6. Get your finances in order. Set a budget and stick to it.

7. Don't go it alone; secure help. Your former employer many offer assistance in relocating. There are various resources from government agencies, libraries, churches and civic groups that provide help.

Reach out to mentors, associates in the world of work, and friends for advice and support. Consider employing a career coach if your budget permits.

8. Keep your head screwed on. Get rid of anger and regret over the job you lost. The only thing that counts is what you accomplish going forward.

"Optimism alone won't get you a job, but pessimism will keep you unemployed longer," according to Ms. Johnson. "In competing against high-caliber people, you have to have the right attitude as well as the right skills."

9. Keep a running list of your accomplishments in your campaign to get a job. Reward yourself for each step forward with a hamburger or a full dinner out, depending on your budget; go out for a movie; take time out to watch television or read a good book.

10. Keep up to date with developments in your field of work. Learn new skills in your field or in an area you would like to move to.

11. Avoid the couch; stay active with some form of exercise.

12. Finally, keep on keeping on. Remember, chances are you are running a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.

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Image: Stuart Miles
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