Excerpt from “How Hard Are You Knocking, Landing a Job in a Rebounding Economy” by Timothy Augustine (Second Publishing Jan 2013)
Throughout our research, we found one common denominator among successful job seekers. That common denominator is preparation. Whether you are evaluating your target positions, researching growth industries, connecting with your personal or professional network or simply putting the final touches on your resume, the key to a successful job hunt is preparation. As you prepare for your unique job search, the first critical step is to understand yourself and evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests, and unique skills that you bring to a position and company. A job hunt first begins with understanding yourself. After all, only you know what you want and who you are. Not until you have assessed your strengths, preferences, and motivations can you take the next step and explore all of your options and opportunities. If this sounds like too much pressure, rest assured, we can help you through every step and keep you accountable in making progress. We believe that the tools, techniques, and strategies outlined in this book will help you solidify your goals, identify your unique value proposition and help you land your dream job.
We broke down the entire job search process into step-by-step chapters that provides you with the necessary information such as the expectations of a hiring manager, best practices from success stories and insider’s tips for each step along the way. There are also assignments and chapter checklists to keep you on track. We understand the difficulty of the job search process and we don’t want to sugarcoat this challenge. At times, you will feel frustrated and even encounter some setbacks. The job search process can be stressful. Use this guide to help you navigate the process and provide you with the confidence needed to compete in a challenging market.
Job hunting is an active sport; it’s not for the faint of heart! We want you to be fully informed before you begin. You will need to do some preparation work prior to starting your search such as an internal assessment. An internal assessment is a tool that forces you to consider, analyze and answer specific questions about your unique skills, abilities and interests. We have found that this assessment is one of the most important first steps you can make to build a winning strategy.
How are you approaching your job search?
Dream Jobs and Dream Cars
We have found that some job hunters put less effort into finding a job than they spend seeking out their dream car. Some job hunters simply open the classified section of the local paper or view listings through an online job board and see what catches their eye. There is no forethought put into the process. Now, can you imagine this same process with car buying? Would you just open up the classifieds and see what cars are available without having any previously determined criteria? Or would you consider your needs for safety and reliability as well as price? Would you review the warranty before purchasing? Would you choose the vehicle based on the photo or the features? Wouldn’t it be hard to make a good decision? Wouldn’t you rather first think about what you need before looking at your options?
Purchasing a car is a big investment and should be handled with due diligence. We think job hunters also need to develop thoughtful criteria. They need to know their preferences before looking at the options. Otherwise, they can get distracted and fall into a job that is not a good fit for their skills, interests and values. When job hunters enter the job market with full knowledge of their preferences and needs, they are more likely to find positions that are professionally satisfying and have the ability to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Instead of a random approach to job-hunting, we suggest that you carefully consider ten key career questions answered in the chapters of this book:
- Why should you be hired?
- Where do you want to work?
- What information do you need?
- Who do you know?
- Who knows you?
- Can you sell yourself?
- Do you look the part?
- Can you close the deal?
- Did you choose the right job?
- How will you manage your career?
In this book, we will answer these questions and prepare you to conduct a successful job search.