by Shawn Gannon
Keep your job search SMART and smart!
Just trust me. It makes sense. Let me explain. The process in anyone's job search, I would contest, is tedious, disappointing, and profoundly frustrating. If that's not true for you, God bless. For the rest of us, these are palpable feelings and a constant struggle. Finding inspiration in your job search can be difficult, but often times struggle can be overcome with the right strategy.
You've most likely heard of SMART goals at the office. Why not apply them to your job search? They are pretty "smart."
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Here is how they can apply:
- S - Specific - Develop a list of companies and roles you might find a good fit. If you can't get started on that alone, a great way to do this is to seek top companies awarded best places to work in your area. Think of your wanted career path and brainstorm a list that you can widdle down to a final draft. Be specific at this stage.
- M - Measurable - Research those companies and roles to be certain they match your passions. Rate them - 1 being the lowest match to 10 as the highest match. Approach each company by ranking. Get the scoop. After speaking with them or finding out about them through networking, re-rank them to know how much effort to put into each organization.
- A - Achievable - Interviewing works both ways. Keep things in perspective. Don't expect to suddenly jump multiple layers of an organizational chart, but don't underestimate yourself!
- R - Relevant - Seek new roles that are also within your wheelhouse even if you are changing industries.
- T - Time-based - This I've written about in the past, and I can not recommend it enough. Give yourself a weekly time limit to perform your job search. Keep to it. Then allow yourself to be done when you hit that time each week. Same goes with the length of time it should take you to find a new role. This will be different for everyone. However, without a timeline, you can quickly begin to lose faith in your efforts and begin to doubt yourself. Don't. You've been hired before. You will be hired again.
As for being "smart," I mean this to be used as an adjective. Let yourself be quick-witted and humorous. Try not to take yourself too seriously no matter how serious your need for a new job is at any particular time. You want to present the best YOU possible. Otherwise, it might be, well, this ...
Go ahead, be intense. Take it seriously. But also, be smart about it. :-) You got this!