When my husband and I learned last fall that we were having twins, we went through a series of emotions – joy, elation, excitement… fear….Both of us are in our 40’s and have worked in corporate America since college. While we have nieces and nephews, having our own child, much less two, was NOT familiar territory. But, as these things go, our sweet daughter and entertaining son came into this world and have forced us to figure it out, whether we were ready or not.
In order to be with my children, but stay in engaged in the workforce, I launched my career coaching business, Career Revelations – http://www.careerrevelations.com/. I KNOW how to help people with their job search. Come on – I recruited and managed an investment banking training program for 15 years. BUT, I never dreamed that I would LEARN so much during this entrepreneurial journey from the most unexpected of sources… My babies.
Here’s to 2015 and a few thoughts about the job search from the little ones:
1) Make some NOISE!
When you are job searching, the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, couldn’t be farther from the truth. EVERYONE needs to know you that you are looking and what you are looking for. College students and recent grads should tell their parents, parents’ friends, neighbors, professors, career advisors…EVERYONE that is a part of your network.
The more often you share your job search plans and goals with your network, the better you are able to articulate what it is you are really looking for. The more practiced is your “elevator speech”, the more succinct and effective you will be in interviews. Not to mention, most people want to help you and can direct you to leads and opportunities in your field.
My children may not be able to talk yet, but they sure can communicate with this simple step!
2) CRAWL Before you Walk.
As a new mom, we are taught very early the importance of “tummy time” for your child since they spend most of the early months on their backs. This position not only protects their soft skulls, but also sets the stage for crawling. The job search is really not far off from this concept. As a former campus recruiter and now career coach, I often hear job seekers (particularly college students) state their lofty career goals upon graduation but fail to understand the steps to get there.
If you want a full -time job in a certain field upon graduation, then you will need an internship after your junior year. But if you want an internship after your junior year, then you really need one after your sophomore year. And so it goes.
Bottom line – start preparing EARLY in your college career and map out the (BABY) steps that are required to reach your goals. Choice of major, course selection, professor research, internships, networking are all important parts of the career journey. You’ve got this!
3) REACH for ONE thing at a time!
I love watching my babies stretch out their chubby little hands or roll over to a sparkly, musical toy. But sometimes they can’t quite reach or get stuck along the way and get upset. We quickly learned as parents that it is EASY (almost too easy) to distract and redirect them to where we want them to go. The same is true for the job search. Countless times my clients have said they aren’t sure what they want to do and their list of interests is a mile wide. Sure, it is fine to start out that way, but at some point (soon), you will need to FOCUS your interests so that your job search can be more effective.
I advise my clients to build a spreadsheet to keep track of the companies, contacts and open positions that they are targeting in no more than 3 different but relevant fields (such as Advertising, PR, and Marketing). This process allows you to stay organized and minimize the chaos of the job search. Plus, it reminds you to follow up if you haven’t heard back from a recruiter or hiring manager.
Just like my babies, you will have better results if you reach for one (or two) things at a time with planned, efficient steps.
4. Learn to LAUGH at yourself.
Let’s face it. The job search can be extremely stressful, especially if you have been out of work for awhile, or feeling pressure to avoid moving home after graduation! But if you can find a little humor along the way, especially at your own foibles, then the process will become…well…FUN! You will make mistakes in the job search (forget to follow up, bomb an interview – you name it!) But, the job search is such an exciting time to explore industries, meet interesting people, and uncover your skills and interests.
The best part about having children has been learning to laugh again and maybe reduce some of the stress of being new parents. Fortunately, our kids think we’re hilarious, even if we simply sneeze! They have taught me to laugh at the silliest things – a good lesson for any stressful time, even your job search. If you can find the joy in the journey, then maybe, just maybe, you will resonate that positive energy with a potential employer and LAND the job of your DREAMS!
Bye Bye (as we say to the kids)!
I would love the opportunity to help you with your job search. Please reach out to me at Elaine@careerrevelations for more information on me and my services.