Make a plan

Are you one of those people who go on vacation by getting in the car and driving and then deciding where you are going? Not me. I need to know where we’re headed, what route we plan on taking, how long it should take to get there, and what we plan to do when we arrive. Personally, I don’t like to plan every minute, but I’m not enough of a free spirit to simply wing it.

If you like to figure things out as you go, I predict your job search will be difficult. While you need to be flexible and be able to follow up on leads and new ideas, you also need to have a sense of where you‘re headed. If you don’t know your target destination, you won’t be able tell people about it and they won’t be able to help you get there.

Let me suggest three techniques to help you achieve your dreams. You may have heard these before:

  1. Write them down,
  2. Tell someone else what you’ve written down, and
  3. Publicize your progress toward those goals.

These three techniques form the basis of your personal accountability and will greatly improve your likelihood of success. Writing down your goals forces you to clarify what might otherwise be disconnected thoughts. Sharing your goals with someone else will help you to own them. Then, telling others about your progress will garner you support and encouragement.

The other axiom that comes with goal setting and planning is – Plan the work and work the plan. An effective networking plan needs more than just a final goal. You need interim steps and measures to help keep you on track. Let me describe a level of activity that I encourage you to meet or exceed. Every week you should strive to:

  • Identify 3-5 new target companies
  • Have 5 networking meetings
  • Contact 10 people to request networking meetings
  • Read 3-5 blog posts and articles about job search (including this one)
  • Read 1-2 articles about your field – stay fresh and current.

That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? My consistent advice is that you need to make finding a job your full time job. Spending an hour or two a day looking for a job won’t cut it. Keep yourself in your traditional work disciplines – get up every day, get dressed, and go to work looking for a job. Take a break for lunch then get back at it. Work until late afternoon and then break for the day. I’ve written before about discipline, and there is no better way to practice or exhibit discipline that in how you conduct your job search every day.

The economy is growing, the jobs are out there, and you need to go get one. Work on your goals and your work plan, and then practice the disciplines that come with hard work. You’ll be rewarded with the job you were looking for.


If you want more advice on how to write a resume, how to, network or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Click here for more details.

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