John Lees, leading Career Transition Coach and Working Lives Expert - offers sound advice to help people get back into work
27th May 2009 - Recent news reports that 2.2 million people are now unemployed and that 280,000 people have lost their jobs this year so far. Accordingly to leading work expert, John Lees, people need smarter, doable strategies for navigating the job search game. Here he shares some of his tried and tested strategies for finding meaningful work, even in tough times.
DON'T PLAY THE IDEAL/REAL GAME: You don't need a perfect job, just one you enjoy 3.5 days out of five - hunt for a 70% overlap between your work satisfaction and the true needs of an organisation.
GET HELP TO BOUNCE BACK: Ignore corporate spin - redundancy is personal. Take rejection seriously - it takes time to rescue self-esteem, and it's easy to allow knock-backs to convince you that you have nothing to offer. Recruit positive-minded friends who'll remind you what you're good at and will keep you making connections.
TIME THINGS SENSIBLY: Panic thrusts people into an over-eager and unfocused job search. Use the first month or so to take any bitterness out of your leaving story, learn how to give short, upbeat answers, and stay away from top recruiters or killer contacts until you have a very clear sense of what you want next.
Don't follow the herd. Only applying for advertised positions is a safe way of prolonging the agony, as will chasing jobs in declining industries. Look for organisations that are swimming against the tide, or niche sectors that are doing well.
DON'T REFRESH YOUR CV - RETHINK IT: There are too many undifferentiated CVs out there, so look again at the first 20 words. If you find you're being offered the same tired old jobs you're trying to escape, it's probably your doing. If you want to change career path, your CV needs to be very clear about why you want a change of direction. The opening section should communicate the explanations you would give when handing the document over to someone in person.
GET OUT THERE: A job search conducted sitting at a screen in your bedroom will always be low-energy. Jobsites will occupy your time, but unless you have a technical specialism, are unlikely to get results more than 5% of the time. Better to boost your confidence by wearing good business clothes and meeting people at least once a week. Success in the hidden job market comes when someone remembers you when you're not in the room so make an impression by meeting people in person.
Finally, think your job search backwards. As recruitment advertising continues to shrink it becomes even more likely that you'll only find interesting roles through connections and chance encounters. Push the law of averages in your direction and you start to create your own luck - make direct approaches to target organisations, and keep talking to people in real jobs rather than conducting your job search on the internet.
• John Lees is author of Britain's best selling careers title written by a British author - How To Get A Job You'll Love, McGraw-Hill.
For FREE careers tips visit www.johnleescareers.com
All publicity enquiries re John Lees to Sue Blake Media on
0208 979 5220, firstname.lastname@example.org
Including requests for appearances, interviews, zeitgeist articles/columns and review copies of his books
Notes to Editors
1. John Lees is also author of Take Control of Your Career, Why You? CV Messages to Win Jobs and Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions (all published by McGraw-Hill).
2. John is a regular presenter at major events in the UK. He will be delivering the opening address and running workshops at the forthcoming forum 3 volunteering and recruitment event at the Business Design Centre in Islington in September.
3. He co-presented a BBC programme called Back to Work with Melinda Messenger and is currently in development of a new careers title and ideas for TV.
4. John is a frequent media contributor and has been featured in many national newspapers and magazines for over 7 years.
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