What consists of a "true" option in your job search efforts? It does not mean "every job lead" that has been reported to me. It does not mean an application for which there has been no response for 6 months. Perhaps a good functional definition of an option is "a job lead for which you have had positive interaction with someone who has influence with the hiring decision maker or an employee of the company within the last 90 days."
Jobs you are pursuing that do not meet this definition ... or a similar definition you create, should not be maintained as options. Close them or take action to rejuvenate them.
How do we rejuvenate jobs that have aged out? here are some ideas
One more word of caution/encouragement. We have a heavenly Father who has a plan for our career. Just because unemployment is low, the job He is preparing for you may not quite be ready for you. Or, perhaps you still have one or two key relationships that need to be established before your Sabbatical ends. Keep up the networking and the 20 minute coffees. Keep honing your skills and developing your marketing brief. Your next assignment will be delivered at the perfect time!
Let's talk for a moment about transferable skills. If we understand that Father has a plan for us which requires us to grow and learn and become more capable, then it is easy to understand that specific skills we acquire in a given job could very well become transferable skills which prepare you for different jobs with greater responsibilities, either in your current industry ... or in a different industry.
Confused on what is a transferable skill? Here is a definition:
Transferable skills are the skills you acquire and transfer to future employment settings. Common examples include interpersonal, communication, leadership and organizational skills.
So now we are in the search for our next assignment, it is time to do some mental exercises. We need to do some real work of examining the skills we have gained and determining if they can be transferable skills. Click [Here] to view an article on Four Tips to Determine if your Skills are Transferable.
Several times last week, Father reminded me that He knows the people with whom I need to be connected. Not only does He know, but He has a plan to connect me in an effective way. I just have to keep my eyes open for His leading and that I trust Him to accomplish what He intends.
Our search for our next assignment needs to be conducted in this manner as well.
No, we cannot sit at home on the couch, watching TV and say that God will get us connected. We have to be going to those places where we are likely to meet people. This would be connection locations like Panera Bread, Connection Cafe, or Meetup Groups. This could be taking "side gigs" like Lyfting which puts us in a special relationship to serve others ... with a corresponding opportunity to be able to talk with them and ask strategic questions about our job search.
Plan, today, where you will be this week for Father to connect you with a new resource for your search.
Today, I want us to think about time. While Father has engaged us in this sabbatical search, we need to be meaningful of His time and our calling. While we busy ourselves with the activities of our search, let us remember that Father controls our calendar. There will be meetings He ordains from time to time for which we need to keep our eyes open.
What is the nature of these scheduled appointments? As we go about our search, He will from time to time bring before us people who need to experience His presence in any number of ways. They need time with individuals who know the reality of God's presence and His leading. Often it is those of us who are engaged in the search for our next assignment that have the time available to spend with these people. Pray that Father will open your eyes to these appointments that you may keep them well. Perhaps, the most memorable of the events will be those times when we served Him by meeting others needs.
Let's consider Job Fairs. A job fair allows you to investigate multiple businesses and job opportunities in a single event. These events may be tied to a specific industry or skill type or a cross section of diverse opportunities. Please remember that job fairs can augment but do not replace our other types of events which promote you in your job search. Job fairs do not have a high reputation for connecting the participants to actual jobs.
I would suggest that a job fair, at its best, gives you a place to practice talking with HR and hiring professionals. With this in mind, attending a job fair with firms you are not really interested in can give you a freedom to try different responses to the hiring questions and see the type of response you receive. This can help you refine your strategy for responding in the interviews you secure through your networking efforts.
A significant building block to our job search is the 20 minute coffee. This meeting has several significant components that need to be addressed - as appropriate - for the individual you are meeting.
When you request a 20 minute coffee, you should have a goal in mind. Based on who you will be meeting, you will want to gain new specific knowledge. gain insight for refining your search and seek at least one additional connection with whom you should meet.
Let's look at each of these objectives:
First, what specific knowledge are you seeking? Be prepared ... information about the business? About specific jobs within the business? Questions about the industry? Remember, by asking these questions, you are honoring the person you are hosting for the coffee by letting them know you value their knowledge.
Second, refine your search search by asking questions which let you rule out businesses or jobs. Anytime you can refine the selection of target companies and positions gets you closer to the specific jobs you desire. Do not shy away from questions that can trim the field!
Third. always ask for one new connection or introduction. Chances are if you execute the 20 minute coffee effectively you will get several new referrals, but be sure to ask for at least one new connection or referral.
Your quiver of questions should always include these questions:
One member of our group recently asked me how much of the job search time should be spent surfing the web for job openings and filling out applications on-line?
Let me preface this answer with the following principles we teach at Sabbatical Search:
I have know sabbatical search participants who only filled out online applications when someone at the company asked them to do so. Instead, they invested their time in using tools like linked in to network into the jobs they wanted.
To provide a more specific answer, I would suggest no more than 10-15% of your time (2 events or up to 6 hours per week) in random searches and filling out on-line applications. This time should be the last time scheduled in your current week's plan. Sitting in front of real people is going to be a better strategy than sitting in front of the "one-eyed" monster on your desk!
I had the distinct honor of listening to my good friend Bruce Loeffler on Friday morning. For those who do not know Bruce, he taught Disney how to serve their customers properly. Yes, really he did!
If you are in full-time job search, you actually work for You, Inc. First question I would ask, would you fire yourself for the quality of work you are doing for the business?
But I digress ... Bruce pointed out the key role team members play in your business when they come in contact with the customers. They actually become the Face of the business. When you are sitting across from an interviewer ... or having a 20 minute coffee,... or networking, you literally are the face of You, Inc.
Bruce uses the initialism F.A.C.E. to teach us about this important function we perform. This is something to think about as you meet others in your job search.
Are you enjoying God?
The Westminster Catechism opens with the question, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer as determined by the Westminster Divines, "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Stop and dwell in that statement. Our very purpose for being is to bring glory to God! How do we do that while engaged in our job search? We do it by first recognizing our sabbatical time as a gift from God, designed to move us toward being everything God intended for us when He made us. When we become more of what He created us to be, we bring God glory! We become the affirmation of His goodness (Godness).
As we proceed through the process and He reveals more of the direction we should go, we give Him glory by pursuing those leads. Also, as we work on our job hunt, we often have time which we can make available to others when we learn that they need to see God's working in their lives. As we reveal to them God's working, we glorify Him.
I would suggest that the more time we put into glorifying our heavenly Father as we conduct our job search, the more exciting and productive our search will be. As God receives this glory from us, the more He will reveal to us our own callings and we will truly experience abundant life as He promised to provide it.
As we structure the parameters of our search, let's spend some time examining for what we have been made. I recently have had opportunity to meet with friends who have experienced some really tough hardships in their lives. It is a challenge to look at what these friends have experienced in their lives and wonder how a loving God could have permitted such hardships - physical, mental, emotional! This statement shows a flaw in thinking. It starts from a premise that hardships indicate a lack of God's love.
Let's examine some truths. First and paramount is that God loves us ... He loves us so much that He allowed His perfect Son to be put to death to purchase us from sin. Second, God is in control - the technical term is omnipotent. This means God accomplishes what He purposes. So, the hardships we experience come from a loving God who has a purpose in our afflictions. And it means that He knows that we can stand! [1 Corinthians 10:13].
So starting from these truths, let's rephrase the issue by saying, if God, in His love has chosen to walk with us through these hardships, what purpose is He seeking to accomplish? How can I use the experience to assist others either to bear up or to avoid the consequences of the situations which produce such hardships?
I would suggest that Christ is our model. He that knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God [2 Corinthians 5:21]. How can we use the hardships of our experiences to help our employers and team members avoid such experiences? Is this not the best explanation of why we suffered?
Perhaps we could spend some time this week, prayerfully, with these thoughts and then take a look our our networking briefs to see if we have identified where Father might be leading us to apply.
Sabbatical Search Accountability Group will meet on Monday, February 26th from 9:00 - 11:00 AM at the Panera Bread in Green Hills. I hope you will join me. I will provide the beverages!
Information presented in this blog come from a cross section of our team members and staff.