Most people dread the idea of looking for a new job--and for good reason. If the endless, time-consuming online applications don't suck the life out of you, the feelings of insecurity (When will they contact me? Why didn't they choose me?), will push you over the edge. This is why so many people stay in jobs they don't like. They can't motivate themselves to do the overwhelming, confidence-crushing work it takes to find a better job.
Still, many people do get a great new job every day. How do they do it? They unlock the secret to conducting a better job search.
Fail-proof baby steps make it feel better.
Over the last decade, my team and I have studied how a job search can be more fun and rewarding. Yes, I said fun. In our research, we've proved if you have some small wins early on in your job search, you'll receive a confidence boost that will change your mindset toward the process. [For example, there are free online quizzes to help you identify your top professional personas and explain why you should use them to achieve greater career success.]
It works like this: When you have a set of defined milestones and a proven approach you can use to reach them, it's easier to stay on track and succeed. And when you're able to recognize and celebrate you're making real progress, you're more energized to keep going.
So, how do you do that?
The 3C's needed to speed up your job search.
Our company has worked with over 5,000 job seekers in the past four years. In that time, we specifically looked at the ones who got jobs faster. To give you an idea, the average job search in America today takes around nine months (ouch!). In our program, the average is four months. We analyzed the people in our program who got jobs in two months or less to see what they did differently. The answer? They consistently utilized all three of the vital components needed to improve the effectiveness of their job search. We call them the 3C's, and they are as follows:
Content: Utilizing new information, tools, and resources (i.e., video tutorials, online quizzes, etc.), to help you learn the right way to look for work and unlearn any bad habits you might have. Remember, school teaches us everything except how to find a better job. It's up to us to self-educate in this area. More important, most people are using outdated or flawed approaches to job search. Learning the right way will immediately cut down the time you waste looking for work.
For example, we analyzed the most successful job seekers in our platform and found they all used a step-by-step process for creating an efficient job search. FACT: those that completed every step in order, and with a sense of urgency, got jobs faster.
Coaching: Leveraging an expert's feedback, support, guidance, and motivation, to help keep you accountable and on-track with your job search. Coaches don't give you the answers. They won't do the work for you. Rather, they help you teach yourself how to get the job search done so you're empowered and in control. Think about a coach's role in relating to a pro athlete. The coach gives the player what he or she need to build skills and reach goals.
In our platform, trained career experts host live video Q&A sessions, called "Office Hours," during which members can ask any job-search or career-related question and get the answers in real time. If they can't attend a session, members can search our video library, where we have over 200 hours of video coaching. They can even submit a question and have a coach record a video answer as well. Those who found jobs the fastest used the coaching daily. Some even opted to upgrade their membership so they could have a dedicated coach work one-on-one with them by email.
Community: Surrounding yourself with a group of like-minded, positive people who are focused on finding a new job. We tell our members, "You are the career company you keep." I've often heard it said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If you want to improve your job search, you need to participate in discussions with other job seekers so you can learn from their experiences and, most important, get inspired by the fact that you are not alone in your job search. Tackling a task is always more fun when you do it with others, job searches included.
In our platform, those who connected with fellow members during our Office Hour sessions and joined our private LinkedIn group saw much faster results in their job search. By supporting their peers, they felt productive and useful. They also got the positive support they needed to keep going, even after a disappointment or setback. The community helped them power up their job search.
Takeaway: Want to find a new job faster? Don't go it alone.
Anyone reading this post can find a new job. But it will go much quicker if you seek out the right content, coaching, and community (3C's) to help you. Whether you buddy up with a friend who wants to find a new job, join a support group, or hire a career coach, the key is to understand that you shouldn't go it alone. Think about it--if you could have gotten a new job all by yourself, wouldn't you have by now?
Think of it this way... We use doctors, dentists, accountants, financial planners, personal trainers, and many other specialists in our lives to help us achieve our personal goals. Why do we think we shouldn't do the same when it comes to our careers?
PS - Don't forget to try the Career Decoder Quiz. It's a free tool you can use to determine your professional personas and how to use them to advance your career.