The search for your first permanent job can leave you with a lot of emotions and it can become overwhelming at times, so the first and most important advice that one can be given in this process is not to panic! This is one of your first post-university journeys and for many, a very real venture into adulthood. It will not always be easy but it is something that should be embraced. Listed in this blog, are tips to help you along this search and hopefully make the process more worthwhile.
- First, accept that whilst you wish to reach for the stars it may take a little time to get there. Also, don’t focus solely on the big name employers – remember there is huge competition for these employers and whilst we’re not saying you shouldn’t apply to these organizations, remember that other organizations may offer you equally valuable experience. So stay positive even though you may not get your dream job as quickly as you hope.
- Don’t expect results to happen overnight and without putting in the right amount of effort. Research what the job market looks like at your level in your locale and how long it has taken your peers to land a new job. Measure success by the number of contacts you make each week, the number of new quality opportunities you are able to identify each week and the number of recommendations you are able to receive each week.
- Performance trumps actions every time. The benefit that you get from the internet depends not only on what you do, but how you do it. Of course, you want to take advantage of all that’s on offer, that is, tapping job boards, career research sites and networking communities in your job search, but this won’t ensure success. You must not only do the right things online, but you must do things in the right way. You need to hone your job hunting skills, and the better you perform, the better your outcome will be.
- Virtual works best with the best that’s real. The internet is seductive – its vast array of resources make it hard to turn off. But turn it off you must. As capable as the virtual world is, it’s not a one-stop shop for finding a job. You need to include the real world in your job search as well. The best approach is one that integrates the best of what you can find on the Web with the best of what’s available everyplace else.
- Recently we asked visitors to identify how they found their last job. Over 17,000 people responded, and here are the top five strategies they identified:
- Searching jobs posted at job boards and/or archiving their resume on those sites
- A tip from a friend (what we call networking in the real world)
- Reading ads published in a print newspaper
- A call from a headhunter
- Being referred by an employee of the company (also a form of networking)
Ultimately, the best strategy for a successful job search is a combination of both of the principles I’ve described. Select a range of job search methods, high tech and low, and then perform each of them to the best of your ability. It’s not the number of things you do, but the expertise you apply in each method that will lead you to true job search success.
There is no template for managing expectations. It seems as if, it is best to have low expectations for circumstances out of our control, realistic expectations of things we can control to some degree and high expectations of ourselves!