How Finding a Job is Like Running a Business
As I speak to more and more job seekers and employers it has become clear how finding a job is like running a business. There is a reason you get up in the morning and a purpose to your activities. Whether a business owner or job seeker you are seeking ways to identify yourself or your business, make money and spend time.
Just as there is a fair amount of time spent building a business, there is a lot of time spent looking for a job or career. Currently employed job seekers should spend 15-20 hours on career related activities. Unemployed job seekers should make it a full-time job of 35-40 hours a week in career related activities. There is a mix of time spent online looking at career websites and networking to find a job.
What is your passion? If your last job wasn’t in your area of passion consider this an opportunity to explore a career using your passion. If you have always dreamed of mentoring, explore opportunities (both paid and unpaid) in your area of interest. You may find it isn’t your passion at all OR you may find your dream career.
What is your brand? Whether you’re changing fields or staying in the same field, it is important to create a brand of YOU for prospective employers. What have you done that was innovative or changed results of a project or business? Identify how your experience will help your next employer or how your knowledge can benefit your next employer. That can be your brand of YOU.
Who is your ideal employer? Business owners spend a lot of time identifying and refining who their ideal client is and it is the same for job seekers. Make a dream list of companies and reasons why you want to work at those companies. Ask current and former employees about their experiences. This can be accomplished through face-to-face meetings or building business relationships on LinkedIn. You can also identify hiring managers through Twitter and LinkedIn and ask them questions – all before you apply for a job!
What are income producing activities? Just as networking and building business relationships with prospective clients is an income producing activity for business owners, so it is for job seekers. Other income producing activities include building and maintaining a complete LinkedIn profile, online networking, building a brand and website. Start a blog to establish yourself as the expert in a particular field or area of interest. These are ways to set yourself apart from the competition and build a brand to get your next job.
How are you getting leads? Along the same lines as income producing activities, leads come from a variety of in-person and online resources. While the person to whom you are speaking may not have a job opening, they may know a hiring manager or HR professional that can get you a job. You never know who knows who; oftentimes the least likely contacts are our greatest resource.
Keep in mind your targeted companies and prospects may change over time – and that’s okay. What is important is the act of being active in your job search. Every time you leave the house is an opportunity to meet someone who can lead you to your next career. Here’s to you landing the job of your dreams!
- Strategic Networking for the Job Seeker: Five Places to Network (jessica-pierce.com)
- The Five Stages of Grief for Job Seekers (jessica-pierce.com)