When the phone isn’t ringing, your email response to job inquiries falls silent and you can’t seem to get anyone to pay attention to you, it’s time to start some serious construction and pull out the tools to build your job house. Â I don’t mean career tools, like resumes, cv, references and updating your LinkedIn profile. Â I mean some serious, Extreme Makeover stuff that will make you visible in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of job seekers vying for your position in the recruitment line up.
It’s not enough that you are taking all the necessary steps to ensure you are up-to-date, well informed and frankly “networking” your butt off to look for a job. Â This time is unlike any other so you need to adopt an approach that is a little more like you are a contractor. Â You need to blueprint your career path. Â Like a builder laying the foundation for a house, you need to be very strategic about your approach when looking for a job. Â Hanging out in coffee houses, meeting up with similarly unemployed friends and calling it “networking” is not going to help you no matter how many lattes you drink to convince yourself otherwise. Â Mapping out your plan of action like an architect would in building a house, including where you would ideally work, what your office or work environment would look like, how you would dress, who your co-workers would be, if you would supervise anyone, what projects you would likely work on, etc. are some of the ways you can begin to pull the pieces together and create your ideal dream job house.
Creating your vision of what you want your house to be is as important if not more than going through meaningless actions we take to busy ourselves with the job process only to wonder why we are not getting any further along or getting stuck in jobs we really don’t want. If Â you have a job, you worry about whether you are going to keep it and if you can hold onto it long enough to pay off your bills. Or, if you are looking for a job your are worried that you’ll never find one and you may be forced to take any job just to pay the bills. Â We are all in the same boat no matter which side of it you happen to be sitting. Â Worry is a part of the process but if you have an outline, a blueprint or a plan, you are less likely to get caught up in the worry and more likely to stay focused on the mission.
Building a job house is constructing and in some cases, deconstructing what you have or don’t have from what you really want. Â Designing your career is about who you want to be and what you really want in life and then finding those opportunities and people that will help you get there. Â Like constructing the design of your house, how big your garden will be, what color your kitchen tiles would be, and how you would arrange your bedroom, you need to pay as careful attention to the details that make up your job house in much the same way.
Being particular is being wise. Being selective about your work relationships and situations is key. Not settling for those that don’t advance your career goals is ultimately a waste of time and will cost you in the long run. We all need to make a living but there are a lucky few who don’t. Â Try to build on what you’ve created whether you are graduating school or are embarking on a career change or you are looking for ways to broaden your skills. Building your job house is like building your dream house, you need a solid plan, a good contractor, the right materials, a budget, timeline and mostly, a vision of what you want and the rest will fall into place.
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