Resource for Planning Your Job Search, Part 4

The key to successToday is the fourth and final installment on Dave Carpenter’s 31-day plan to achieve your goals. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here.

Assemble draft of plan and submit it to your advisors: Mr. Carpenter discusses the various components that go into the plan, and it all comes from the work you’ve already done to put together a vision, identify strategies, and determine goals. He also recommends including other background material that you have put together during the planning process, such as the listing of your strengths and the opportunities available. There is even a template provided to help you put your draft together.

And remember the board of advisors who were talked about a few days ago? Well, you are putting them to work now to look over your first go-around of your plan to secure employment. One important reason for doing this, as Mr. Carpenter points out, is that “[a] public commitment, even to a small group, tends to make individuals follow-through better.”

As well, getting feedback from others will give you insight into a different point of view. Especially during a job search, the perspective of others can help you to potentially understand how a company may view your candidacy for a position, as well as possibly give you ideas on how to better present yourself.

Create magnificent milestones: This is another really great step that I love because it breaks everything down. Yes, you have your big goals set up, but how do you stay on track? How do you keep yourself motivated along the way? Setting up monthly milestones and then checking in once a month to see the progress you have reached on achieving your goals that are part of your job search is a wonderful way to feel good about what you have done and to keep on track for what you need to still do.

This idea is very similar to one I used when I directed volunteers for a community-based adult literacy program. The clients would have their overarching goals, but I would also advise the volunteers to work with the clients to identify intermediary goals that were necessary stepping stones to reaching the bigger goals. Part of this process also involved having a physical chart that showed the skills growth of the clients, and I suggested using that chart as a motivational tool for the clients to tangibly see themselves getting closer to attaining the major goals.

If you are the kind of person who is very hands-on or likes to “see” progress, creating a milestones chart to track your progress toward your next job may be the perfect tool to use for your monthly check-in!

Attend events that support your SMART (or SMARTER) goals: Given that networking is one of the keys to landing a job, attending events goes hand-in-hand with what you will be doing. The thing this step made me think of is to be sure that the events you do attend are worth it. For example, if you attend an event that has more of a social aspect to it than job networking, it might not be the best use of your time. That’s not to say that social events are a waste of time; on the contrary, they could be a valuable source of connections. But they just may not give you as much “bang for the buck.”

Have a lot of support for your success: My favorite quote from this tip is this: “[T]he more support you have around you in 2010, the more likely you will be to keep ongoing, even in the face of adversity.” The support system will be there to pick you up when you’ve fallen, and will cheer you on your way to your new job!

Celebrate! Too often, people forget this step in the planning process. It’s never a bad idea to pat yourself on the back after putting in a great deal of hard work.

And then, after celebrating the completion of the plan for your job search, it’s time to put it into action! Don’t do the plan a disservice by letting it sit on your desk, unopened. You’ve got everything in place, your support team is standing by, so then tackle that job hunt with vigor!

* Initiative = the key to success * courtesy of chichacha

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