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The Best Time To Find A New Job Is When You Don't Need It.

The Best Time To Find A New Job Is When You Don't Need It.

In other words — Always be prepared to leave a job, because your employer is always prepared to leave you. More and more, many companies (not all, mind you) find themselves letting employees go for a number of different reasons.

Don't Have A Job? It's YOUR Fault.

I'm not pulling any punches here. Why? Because I think most people who are looking for a job need a dose of reality instead of 'good thoughts' and 'quick tricks'.

Here are Rich Gee's 10 Commandments Of Looking For A Job:

1. It's going to be HARD.

You will push yourself farther than you've ever pushed yourself before — into areas that are uncomfortable — networking, connecting, selling, negotiation, schmoozing, etc. Get used to it.

WHY? Most job-seekers are afraid of the process. They want the limo to pull up to their house and whisk them off to their next position. Guess what? It's NEVER going to happen.

2. You must work 30-40 hours a week on your search.

It's a job to find a job. Any less is just fooling around. You have to put serious time into your search — if you don't you will just prolong your unemployment — turning it from a 3-6 month process to a 12-18 month ordeal. I have my clients do a simple math equation: Take your yearly salary and divide it by 12. That is how much you are costing your family for each month unemployed. Stop focusing on your severance package — go out and find a job!

WHY? Clients that dive into their search and spend a reasonable amount of time (30-40 hours a week), get a job. It's that simple.

3. Stop the whining.

Okay, you lost your job — get on with life. Stop navel-gazing and blaming yourself.

WHY? I encounter a number of clients who are wounded and use their loss as an excuse to bypass the difficult actions of a job search. If you are so damaged, it's time for you to seek help with a therapist. If not, get off your ass and move on. You're an adult and you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Stop the pity party.

I hate to be blunt here — but you're an adult with responsibilities — get out there and make things happen!

4. Don't focus on your résumé every 5 seconds.

Get it done, keep it concise and powerful (and well-written). If you need help — spend the money and have it written for you. You can modify it for certain positions, but don't obsess about what other people say.

WHY? People get so attached to their résumé. They ask every friend and recruiter for advice and guess what? They tell them it stinks and that they have to totally modify it. Get it done and get it out. Stop looking for distractions.

5. Get out and meet people.

If you stay in all day and surf the web, that's not looking for work. It's vacation. To find that perfect position, you must be visible and expose yourself to A LOT of people.

WHY? It's a very simple equation: If you meet new people, you will make new opportunities, you will connect with hiring managers, you will be introduced to hidden positions, you will be offered a job. On the other hand, if you don't meet new people, less opportunities, less hiring manager interaction, less position options, and less job offers. It's that simple.

Hit the library. Make friends with the librarians — they can help you find information on organizations, industries, and people not found on the web. And it's fun — they start rooting for you to find that next position AND it gets you out of the house. One suggestion — try the smaller local libraries — they tend to focus on the serious researcher and not have a 'get em in/get em out' attitude to the masses.

6. Make yourself extremely marketable.

Hit the gym everyday. Eat well. Get an up-to-date haircut. Get new glasses. Dress in style and dress up every day. Act as if you are going out on a first date — first impressions are SO important.

WHY? Be Your Best — you are selling a product . . . YOU. You have to polish it until it shines and catches the light. Any less and you might be passed over for a single errant, inconsequential reason that you could easily fix. Take a few dollars and improve your wardrobe, your body, and your look. You want to hit them hard when they first see you.

7. Study your industry and market.

Don't sit around and surf. Immerse yourself where you're looking for a job. Learn what has happened, what is happening, and begin to predict what will happen. So many job-seekers look for positions but neglect to fully understand what's happening in their industry. When you have a job, you live in a bubble. Take the time and seriously dive into what is happening out in the world. It will come in handy during interviews.

WHY? People forget that this time is for you to apply and work for a BETTER company.

8. Pick companies you would LOVE to work for.

I get so much grief for this one. When looking for a job, so many people give in and make themselves like a company/position rather than targeting organizations they would kill to work for.

WHY? It's easier to find open positions than to LOVE a company, target key individuals, and build your own position.

9. Learn how to interview, ask questions, and negotiate.

Don't wing it. You need to practice and get out there and interview. The more you hone your image, your patter, your answers, your body language, your questions, and your negotiation skills, the faster you will land that primo position.

WHY? So many applicants feel they can rely on their strengths and forget when they're in tense situations, their weaknesses start to show. You need to be 'buttoned-up', secure, and ready for anything a key interviewer throws your way.

10. Be Positive, Smile, and Watch Your Body Language.

This is a big one. Get up every day and start out by rewarding yourself with a motivation.

HOW? Work out, listen to music, do yoga, read, meditate . . . anything. You have to begin each day with a positive mindset. Too many job seekers hit the snooze alarm or get indexed into multiple family responsibilities (not that it's a bad thing) in the morning. Make sure you have time for yourself. Get up early (I get up at 4-4:30 every morning) and make time for yourself — stop staying up late and watching reruns of The Mentalist. Go to bed early (I hit my pillow at 9:30 PM) and get in some real sleep time.

Smile! Stop frowning at everything — remind yourself frequently to smile with people, on the phone, and in unexpected situations. You'll find it brings up the good juices within and you actually feel more positive.

Take an proactive stance on your body language. Walk 20% faster (catch any Bourne Identity movie - watch how Matt Damon walks) - it livens up your system and tells everyone you mean business. Lean forward when you speak and use your hands — it engages the listener and shows them you are passionate about what you do.

11. Surprise! Extra Credit.

Focus on four areas. What are they?

1. Job Boards/Company Sites - This is the easiest area to attack and the most frustrating area to encounter. There might be jobs here, but most of the time, it's a major time-suck for higher level positions. But don't discount it — do it — but don't hold yourself back — access all four areas.

2. Recruiters - Reach out to them, but don't expect a lot to happen. They are focused on obtaining the best employed candidates, poaching from the competition, and keeping their retainers healthy and growing. There might be a perfect alignment of your need and their deliverable, but it rarely happens. I'm not down on recruiting, just don't put all your eggs in this basket. And don't get frustrated when they don't return your calls — it's the nature of the beast.

3. Connecting/Networking - As I said before, a good bet is to reach out to strategic friends, family, and colleagues who might connect you to the right people. You need to move up the food chain and play tennis with the big boys and girls. Don't make all your stops with unemployed networking groups — you're trying to sell a car when everyone else in the room are selling cars too. You need to mix with accomplished, employed, and upwardly mobile people who GET IT. You've hit a road bump in your career (we all have), stop holding yourself back and reach for the gold ring.

4. Targeting - You need to pick the best companies that you would LOVE to work for (remember this?). Act like a private investigator — research what's going on, who's making headlines, where they're going, and who you need to target. Then build a dossier about that person — where they went to school, what do they do, where they worked, are they on social media, etc. Then go after them and introduce yourself to them. Now the hard part begins.

I know this has been a rough post to read — but my goal isn't to sugar-coat my coaching, but to tell the truth and get you to take action ASAP. Let me know if you found it useful.

 

Happy With Your Career? Not For Long.

One of my favorite quotes from Bruce Lee: "If you alway put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else — it will spread into work and into your life. There are no limits — there are only plateaus and you must not stay there — you must go beyond them."

What is Bruce really saying when it comes to your career or business?

Everything in your life is a plateau on an endless mountain. You work hard — you move up — and make it to the next plateau. You get settled — you enjoy that plateau — and then you make plans to move from that plateau to the next plateau on the mountain.

And I promise you — if you stay at that plateau for a long time — one of three realities will occur:

1. You WILL get bored of that plateau and start self-sabotaging behaviors.

I see this happen all of the time. We get comfortable and we get to know our responsibilities, our deliverables, our customers. Unfortunately, a career without challenges tends to become predictable and boring. And when things in our life become predictable and boring — we tend to take them for granted.

We start to let some areas grow fallow — we start to procrastinate on delivering — just a bit at first, but then it becomes endemic. We might start coming in later to work or leave earlier. We might not get back to our best customer as quickly as we used to. We spend a little too much time surfing or sleeping on the job — and everyone begins to notice.

Solution: When you start to get bored — the very millisecond you get bored — start looking for the new plateau to move to and START CLIMBING.

2. Someone WILL kick you off that plateau.

In my Welcome Packet I send to new clients, I have a powerful quote on the front cover: "If you aren’t continually reinventing yourself, your company, or your brand, it’s only a matter of time before you become obsolete, irrelevant, and go out of business." And that's 100% true.

Someone or some company is going to come along and shake your apple tree. You might see the apples fly all over the place and say to yourself, "I have a strong stem — nothing will happen to me."

But you're wrong. Think of what's happening right now in the marketplace — what has happened to the publishing, newspaper, media, advertising, music, auto, banking industries (just to name a few)? If things aren't falling all around you — you might be falling off the number one spot to number two (or three). Or your vocation is changing and YOU need to chart out a new direction for your business to sail towards.

Solution: Keep your peripherals moving at all times — keep looking around and see if anyone (or any company/industry) is going to begin to take over your plateau. Don't get comfortable, get moving.

3. Your plateau WILL disappear and you will fall.

We frequently make the wrong assumption and think, "This is a great job/company, I am challenged every day, and nothing will really change (at least for the time being)."

You're WRONG. 40-50 years ago, you might be right — my father had his position at Electrolux until the day he retired. But stop kidding yourself — those jobs are GONE.

In fact, each year, the market is moving faster and faster. Industries that were booming just a decade ago are now gone.  I'm always in awe when I visit my local cable company (usually to trade in my broken DVR player) and see just 10-15 years ago all the awards on the walls, the photos of all the accomplishments, the parties, the fun that filled all the offices and people there.

Now there are two VERY bored people on the other side of the glass partition who collect cable payments and exchange DVR players. That's it. Everyone else is GONE.

Solution: Sometimes plateaus disappear instantly, but most of the time, it take awhile for them to totally evaporate. So you have time — not a lot of time — but just enough to find that next handhold and start climbing up.

So the only logical decision to be made is to start climbing up. Because you don't want to start climbing down.

There's no time like the present — START CLIMBING.

P.S. By the way, this also applies to your life too. Your marriage. Your friends. Keep it fresh! Keep it growing!