When you were in high school or college for that matter, when did someone teach you how to search for a job?
At my college there was a career center. It was tucked away in a building I never visited. Not once.
I learned how to look for my work through my parents, specifically my dad, who had his own executive search company. He didn't sit me down and help write my resume. He didn't coach me on my interview answers. He introduced me to people who might have a job.
The point I am trying to make here is twofold. First, job search 101 classes are optional and given the choice, who would want to take them over the fun and entertaining "Underwater basket weaving"? Second, there is way too much emphasis put on writing a good resume. I have never landed an interview because of my stellar resume. It has always been my relationships that have opened a door.
For those of you with children, take the time now to "teach" your kids how to search for a job. That means showing them the importance of developing relationships with teachers, coaches, parents, everyone who might have a connection to a job. Introduce them to your friends. Also be sure to help them develop strong communication and interpersonal skills- making eye contact, using active listening, being polite. Truly coach them on these important subtleties. Where else will they learn this stuff?
If you don't have kids, think about your friends and colleagues. Do they get it? Do they know what you know about job search? If they haven't done it in awhile, then the answer is, they need your guidance now, not when they are out of work.
Managing your career includes:
- Learning what is going on in your industry
- Participating in professional organizations, conferences, meetings
- Talking with people doing similar work
- Ensuring their is an "awareness" of your talents internally and externally
- Always perusing the job market for interesting opportunities
- Maintaining connections with recruiters
It has never been more important to take care of you than it is today. Help spread the word, because tomorrow any of us could be searching for our next job.
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.