What are three simple things you can do differently in your job search this week?
Change Your Routine
Is it a lack of routine that is holding you back? Personally, the mornings when I don’t jump in the shower first thing are generally not as productive for me. There is just something about a shower and getting dressed that almost forces me to want to leave the house.
Perhaps your routine is spending time in the morning responding to emails. Great, communication and follow through are SO important. Could you go to the library to do this? What about bringing your laptop to a coffee shop or co-working space?
Here’s another idea (especially if you don’t have a laptop). See if a friend has some office space you could use, just for a couple of hours. First, it gets you out of the house and into an environment with other people and second, it gives them the opportunity to help and that makes them feel good. I know what you are thinking…I can hear it now. “I can’t ask someone to use their office” or “I don’t know anyone who I could ask” or “This sounds like a dumb idea”. Fine. The choice is yours. What is the harm in asking? The idea behind this is to get out of your house and let more people know you are on the hunt.
Do your salary research now!
Too many people wait to do salary research until they have an interview. You’ll have a much better idea of what to put on your application if you have done research. It is as simple as asking people in the occupation you are pursuing:
- “What is the going rate for people entering into this job”
- “What have you seen being offered to people doing this job”
- “What is the typical range for this level of position”
Salaries vary from company to company. The more people you ask within different companies, the better your data will be. You can also check out these resources:
NYS DOL Wages (for my many readers in NYS)
ONet Online (dive into your occupation and scroll to the very bottom of the information)
Salary Negotiations and Job Offer Tools and Resources for Job-Seekers from Quintessential Careers
FYI, sites like Monster and CareerBuilder don’t use their own salary calculators, they use Salary.com or Salaryexpert.com
Giving back is a wonderful feeling, plus it provides you with something to do (other than the list of household chores and tedious job search related tasks!). Any type of volunteering is good, however, if you want to maximize your job search, I recommend volunteering with an organization that is aligned with your future job goal or provides you an opportunity to use some of your work related skills. There are so many organizations that could use your help! Also think about professional associations. You could volunteer to be on a committee. Volunteering exclusively with job search related groups is a great thing, however, don’t let that be a crux or diffuse your personal reputation (brand). Do you want to be known as “that really helpful resume reviewer’ or “the one who runs a job seeking networking group” or “facilitator of job search discussions”. These aren’t necessarily bad, but… if they aren’t in alignment with what you want to do next or there isn’t a clear demonstration of transferable skills, are you using your time wisely?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.