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Are you conducting a search to find a job? It’s said that satisfaction is a function of expectation, that your level of satisfaction is largely determined by how far from the expected outcome you end up. This could apply to a relationship, your finances, your favorite team’s playoff hopes, even whether you find a job.
Of course, there are those who believe that the solution lies in having no expectations at all. Makes sense, right? Hard to be disappointed if there are no expectations to be met. There’s even a word that describes this condition: Mediocrity. So there’s that. And, come to think of it, having no expectations when you set out to find a job will likely completely prevent dissatisfaction because you probably won’t find one.
However, setting a goal requires having certain expectations. And the dissatisfaction that so many people experience isn’t so much a result of setting expectations too high as it is that no plan was put in place to manage those expectations and no comprehensive strategy employed to achieve the goal. Having a plan, the discipline to follow it and the ability to measure your progress objectively are all essential to producing results commensurate with your expectations.
So, what does all this mean? Simply this: There are steps you can take to ensure that your goal (i.e., to find a job) remains within reach, never appearing so overwhelming as to feel unattainable. But the steps must be taken. You can’t wish for them to get done. You not only have to plan the plan, you actually have to race the race. Here, then, are some things you might want to consider as you commence/continue your efforts to find a job, one that actually meets your…well, you know:
- Take stock of who you are, both personally and professionally, at this stage in your life and what you honestly expect of yourself (compared to what others expect of you or, worse yet, what you believe others expect of you). If your goal is to find a job that is both professionally and personally rewarding, this step is a must.
- Take inventory of what you’ve done so far. This is a necessary first step before launching a search to find a job. Do so with a critical eye. Are you doing things to find a job that feels productive simply because they keep you busy and completing these tasks gives you a sense of having accomplished something? We’ve all done it. Your effort may yield a work product you can measure but it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a productive step towards reaching your goal.
- It’s all just a matter of time. Literally, actually, really. And no matter how much we may complain that we’re too busy and that there aren’t enough hours in the day, there is a simple and amusing truth about time: We have all there is. So don’t waste it. Set aside a non-negotiable amount or range of time each day during which you focus solely on how to find a job.
- Reconnect with someone every day. Everyone you know probably knows as many people as you do. Whether you are seeking to enhance your career in the long term or to find a job next month, there is no downside to building your database of contacts and refreshing the content.
- Learn something new every day. About your profession, about your industry and the companies in it. This not only betters you, it may actually open up some possibilities you were unaware existed.
- Prune the hedges. You may have a lot of “potentials”. If your list of prospective employers contains job openings that you know you really aren’t going to pursue, trim it. And review it daily. If you wish to find a job quickly, limiting that list to opportunities with real potential will help you manage both your workload and your expectations.
- Rinse and repeat. One of the most important steps to take? Repeat these steps repeatedly.
Manage your job search expectations and get hired more quickly. Job searching can be frustrating and wearisome. These tips may help you avoid some of that frustration. Download the PDF here.