You now have the tools needed to conduct your job search successfully. What you bring to the process determines how quickly you will meet your goal. At all times, you must assume that you can accomplish what you have decided upon. In this chapter, I will offer some real life examples of how sheer doggedness won out, as well as some of my own suggestions for keeping on your charted course when everything, from a crowded field to lagging self confidence, threatens to put you out of the race. After that, it is time for you to stop reading and start doing. Good luck!
Be creative and aggressive in your pursuit of contacts. As George Patton said, 'Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash." A few years ago, I was waiting for the elevator at a national conference of the American College of Healthcare Executives when a confident gentleman approached me and asked for five minutes of my time. That same person is now a valued part of our team at Tyler & Company. He had heard me talk at the same conference a year earlier. In the interim, he had positioned himself to make the transition from the military and had actually targeted my company as the place he wanted to work. He did his homework, and he limited himself to five minutes, during which time he generated sufficient interest to warrant further discussion. I realized later that part of what set this individual apart was his confidence and his foresight in being ready for an opportunity.
As I related, the candidate had managed to get an interview at a major hospital in the state capital. En route to his interview, he visited the state planning agency where the particular hospital's certificate of need application was available as a matter of public record. Needless to say, after reading that and educating himself about the organization's fiscal plans, he proceeded to his interview with a wealth of information and presented himself as a person of foresight and resourcefulness.
Be resourceful that sounds like a good idea, but how do you become resourceful? Another word for "resourceful is "adaptable." The career experts who study trends in the workplace agree that in the job market of the future, adaptability will be the hallmark of the successful job candidate. If you feel stuck in your current position and your job search is inching along slowly in spite of all your focused efforts, make the further effort of acquiring a new job related skill. An obvious area is computer literacy. Or, if you are a mathematical wizard with a strong accounting background and only limited expertise in management, you can enroll in an organizational psychology course at the local college. Without investing in an advanced degree, you can increase your sophistication and knowledge in that area. Another idea is to volunteer for special projects at your current job for example, a quality assurance group if such projects will develop new skills. Choose carefully, since your time is at a premium, but invest in some type of educational endeavor. Knowledge is cumulative, and never goes to waste. As an added benefit, you keep your intellect sharp. The celebrated actor, Sir Laurence Olivier, was once asked how he managed to maintain his successful stage and film career as he got older. His reply, that he learned a new skill or craft every year, points to the importance of learning throughout our lives.
Being motivated is especially important in making a job change. Changing jobs requires a lot of hard work, sustained over an unknown time period. It is even harder to change jobs if you are still employed; a lot of other things get in the way of making those networking calls, the essential part of your job search. If you find yourself bogged down in your search because of conflicts with your regular job, then set yourself the realistic goal of making four networking calls per day. This reasonable number keeps you focused on the task at hand. Obviously, if you are unemployed, you should be making a lot more contacts than four per day. Your target number should be between ten and fifteen daily calls where contact is made. There is a difference in the kind of motivation that corresponds to your employment status. If you have a job, you are probably motivated by ambition. If you are unemployed, necessity motivates you to keep calling. In either case, fire up your motivation and keep it burning.