Submitted by Mike Doody -- CCC Volunteer and Board Member. Retired executive search consultant

In my 25 years as an executive search consultant -- a headhunter -- I estimate that I interviewed 5000 candidates and spoke with (including interviewed) 10,000 people during their job search. In these conversations, it was common for one of us to suggest that "looking for a new job is a full-time job." As I think about that -- it is exactly how I felt when I was out of work and looking for that next career move. And that led me to the headhunter role which I enjoyed for 25 years.

But how many of us truly spend full-time (40 or more hours a week), in our job search? And how many of us in our job search have a plan or a job search strategy to land that next position?

As with any project we might undertake such as improving our golf game; losing those 20 pounds we gained; reducing the production cost on that product; increasing the percentage of sales to repeat clients, we need a PLAN. The PLAN has to:

    - have an end or a GOAL
    - identify what steps need to be taken to reach the GOAL
    - have a time line that outlines when each of those steps will be taken
    - have your focus and attention to implement the PLAN.

That in essence is what your search strategy has to include. That plan or strategy must identify:

   - what role or kind of role you are looking for

   - what industry and/or companies are your targets

   - your resume  (Is your resume up-to-date? / Is it written for the role or kind of role you are looking for? / Will your resume get you the interview?)

   - your network (How will you expand your network, as well as how and when you will contact those in your network? / What the message/information is that you want to share with those in your network? / The process including a schedule and time line to reach out and meet with those in your network that you want to speak with individually / How you will expand or grow your network / What Job Clubs and/or networking groups should you become part of and attend their meetings? 

   - what seminars/workshops will be helpful to attend, in order to enhance your job search skills?

   - have you identified and contacted references?

   - are you prepared for that important interview - if not, how and when will you get prepared?

   - How do you organize all of the activities included in the above tasks into a work schedule - into a plan that Identifies what you will do each day of each week for the foreseeable future in order to use you time most productively to reach your GOAL?

A job search is a complex undertaking and not one that most of us undertake with any frequency. Yes, it can be a full-time job and it is less frightening and more doable when you have a PLAN -- a job search strategy.  Remember plan the work and work the plan.  It will get you positive results! I know, I've been there!  Good luck.

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