In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.
We know that many of you made resolutions—and probably job- or career-related ones—at the start of the new year. Have you made any progress on those goals? If not, do not be frustrated or disappointed with yourself; just find a way to hold yourself accountable.
Although “real life” can often be an obstacle, we believe the following strategies will help you achieve your goals:
- Find a job search partner, group, or coach. Schedule (and adhere to) regular meetings, ideally, every two weeks. At each meeting, report on your progress, brainstorm ways to overcome job search obstacles, and discuss and set mini goals for the next meeting. Mini goals should be specific and actionable (e.g., identify three new target companies, reach out to five people in your network). State your goals out loud to your partner/group/coach and put them on your to-do list and/or add reminders on your calendar.
- Create a tracking system, whether in a binder/notebook, Excel, or an online job-tracking program. In your system, be sure that all networking outreach and follow-up action items are included, as well as deadlines/next steps. Our clients find that having all their job search materials in one place makes staying organized and monitoring their progress much easier.
- Set aside time each week for the job search—and schedule it on your Outlook/Google calendar. Whether you devote a small block of time daily to the job search or large chunks of time on one or two days during the week, just make sure it happens.
- Establish and write down milestones for your job search. For example, plan a time when you will reevaluate your progress to date, adapt your messaging, and shift strategies, if necessary. We advise that you schedule these milestone check-ins every six to eight weeks, depending on the urgency of your job search.
- Reward yourself. When you achieve your mini goals, acknowledge these accomplishments and celebrate your progress. Most people’s job searches are more of a marathon than a sprint, so staying motivated and positive is important.
In addition to applying these tactics, we advise you to reflect on whether any specific roadblocks or areas of the job search make you overwhelmed or nervous. Consider the following questions:
- Do you know what you are looking for—besides, of course, a great job?
- Do you know how to talk about yourself in networking and/or interview situations?
- Do you feel that your resume and LinkedIn profile are good representations of your candidacy?
- Do you have confidence in your ability to execute on each part of the job search?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, we suggest that you identify ways to address these core issues before (or as) you execute your job search.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!