Remember when you were a kid. Bedtime was the worst, wasn’t it. Especially when the lights went out and the monsters came out. Especially the ones that lived under your bed, or in your closet or in the shadows on the wall.
Do you remember screaming for your parents who would slowly and bedrugingly come into room? They would turn on the lights and those shadow turned out to be innocent pieces of furniture, when you looked underneath your bed there were no monsters just long lost and dusty toys and your closet? Only full of clothes.
The job search can feel like those monsters. It can leave you feeling stressed out and discouraged. And can leave you spending hours on Indeed throwing resumes out there in the hopes of finding something as a way to avoid this scary beast that is the job search! But it is the unknown that is so terrifying but once you turn the lights on it becomes less scary. In fact it becomes something manageable and doable.
Knowing the steps and what is to come is key to turn that big scary monster into some innocent thing! Plus moving through the job search in a more structured and intentional way will give you more control over the job search.
That is why I created The Job Search Roadmap. This is a roadmap that goes over every single step of the job search giving you a sense of what is to come, giving you a plan of action to follow and leaving you feeling empowered instead of discouraged.
This step is vital. It allows you to figure you who you are (and what your superpower is) and also digs into your skills, interests and motivations. It then allow you to create your Career Map – what your goals are and what options exist right now to get you on the path to those goals.
2. Marketing Plan
During a job search you become your own product and you are selling and marketing yourself to potential networking connections and potential employers. Think about the message you want to convey. Write your modern, foundational resume and cover letter. Practice your elevator pitch. And don’t forget your social media strategy.
3. The Job Search
A lot of work comes before you even get to this! But all that work helps prepare you for putting yourself out there. Networking is key since three-quarters of jobs are found this way so figuring out any events, setting up some informational interviews, leveraging LinkedIn – all these different networking types will help you make connections. I don’t want you to ignore job boards, just come up with a plan to use them to actually get a job, go to career fairs if it makes sense and get used to dealing with recruitment agencies.
4. Getting Hired
The best part of the process. It all starts with the interview – prepare to answer those two common yet dreaded questions, deal with those nerves and get ready to shine. Figure out your bottom line so when that offer comes in you know how to get your worth.
I’ve made this even easier for you. The most popular free resource I’ve created is a 5 day email course on The Job Search Roadmap. Each day you get an email expanding each step with vital information to get you noticed, creating connections and finding your way to that dream career.
Read on to the end, I have a FREE challenge to help you save your career change resolution!
For 15 years I had the same News Years Resolution. To find my way to career happiness.
And for 15 years, I never found my way. I failed at my resolution.
There was always a reason, an excuse, a justification that I would tell myself that would make it okay to let those dreams slip away.
Looking back now, I know what the problem really was.
I had no clue what that my dream career looked like. All I knew was that it wasn’t recruitment. It was overwhelming to make such a broad and generalized resolution so it was easy to give up quickly.
That is the problem with resolutions, they are generally broad life changing statements that seem very easy and attainable at the time. But give us a month and 80% of us have quit. Usually because we are nowhere near that “perfect life” we had envisioned for ourselves and we are struggling because it all seems like TOO MUCH to get there.
So we give up. And we hop back on the hamster wheel until the next year when we make those broad generalized resolutions again.
For me, I had tried everything. I chose a word for my year, I set SMART goals, I created project plans. But nothing seemed to work.
Then one year something clicked. I made a resolution to start making bread for our family. That was it. It was simple, clear and specific. More importantly, it was ONE thing and one thing ONLY. And I was successful.
So when the next year rolled around I wanted to recreate that magic for my career change goal. I focused on figuring out what was the ONE thing I could focus on. I dusted off my Job Search Roadmap to give me some guidance and it hit me. I couldn’t find a new career when I didn’t even know what that new career looked like. So my resolution?
To figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
That was it. My goal was to spend a year figuring out what career happiness looked like for me and to see if there was a job that existed that would lead me there.
So that is what I did. I went through 5 steps that led me to where I am today. Living my purpose, waking up excited each and every day and happy with my career.
I want that for you too.
(Note: I have a fun announcement at the end of this post to help you find your way to career happiness too.)
The 5 steps are easy, they took me on a path that anyone can take. They opened up my world to me, got me out of my head and got me moving forward.
1. The Power of Assessments
I redid many of my favourite assessments plus some new ones. I wanted to live my purpose and I had a sense of what that purpose was but wasn’t completely clear about it. The assessments helped give me clarity. Plus, I wanted to know more about how to live my purpose in a way that left me feeling satisfied, played up my strengths and kept me motivated to survive any career change lows.
I spent some time looking in the looking glass by doing a number of self-discovery exercises. These helped me determine what was important to me in terms of what I wanted and what I didn’t want in my new career.
3. Create a Focus
I had gathered a lot of information and now I needed to do something with it – create a targeted list of careers for me to go after. I researched. I talked to people. A LOT of people, conducting informational interviews so that I had the information I needed to make an informed decision.
4. Goal Setting
Once I had an idea of the career I wanted, I then felt comfortable getting started. I set myself up for success by setting goals in a way I knew that would work for me. Namely, flexible and gentle mini goals that focused on what I wanted. Not elaborate project plans or SMART goals that left me exhausted before I even started!
5. My Roadmap
I followed my Job Search Roadmap and prepared myself for the obstacles that I knew were to come. And come they did! Obstacles like fear, money, motivation and support. But I didn’t let them get in my way, because I had a plan to overcome them.
A funny thing happened by creating one small but tangible goal. I ended up finding career happiness that year. That elusive resolution finally became my reality.
I know my success was because I set a simple, clear and specific goal. I went through these 5 steps and by September of that year my career coaching business was born.
My 2019 Resolution.
This year I have another simple, clear and specific goal. To help YOU discover what you want to do when you grow up so that you too can find your way to career happiness.
Which is why I am so excited to announce my first ever challenge.
This is a free challenge for people who know that they want a change but who don’t have complete clarity on what that change looks like.
It is for people who want a completely different career or a simple career pivot. It is for people who want to check to see if they are in the right career. And it is for people who are in the right career but who want to change something about it – like if they should be going after that promotion, change industries or fight for more work/life balance.
The challenge is 5 days long and will cover each of the 5 steps above with a daily training video sent to your email, worksheets to guide you and a Facebook group to surround you with others on the same path.
2019 is YOUR year. Your year to make your New Year’s Resolutions happen. Your year to Find Your Way to Career Happiness.
I can’t wait to get started! Click here to get your free spot!
I remember my first day at my first job out of school, an IT recruiter in a recruitment agency in downtown Toronto. I came home that evening and said to my aunt (I was living with her at the time) that it was a good first day but that I don’t know how I’ll be able to last out the year. That was my plan when I took the job, work for 1 year before trying to get a corporate HR job.
Well I lasted that 1 year. In fact I was there for 4 years and I was laid off. I didn’t leave of my own accord. And I’m still working through the why. I was so unhappy and there were times where I did a halfhearted job search but there was always one reason or another that kept me stuck in that job I hated. And yes there were the practical reasons – job stability, money, career progression but honestly I used those reasons as excuses to ignore the things that I was telling myself. That I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t have time or that I was afraid.
And I know I’m not alone. Throughout my 15 years of experience I have heard many “practical reasons” for staying in a job you hate but upon digging there is always an underlying negative voice that is the real reason. Today I want to talk about the six most common, I’m sure if you are stuck that at least one of these will resonate with you.
1. It’s too late for me.
You have finished your degree, you have had kids, you are over 40, you are close to retirement. You feel that your ship has sailed and that since it is too late that you need to suck it up and be thankful for the job you do have.
Can I tell you something though – it is never too late to change. So what if you have been a teacher for 15 years or just completed a degree in Engineering or only have 5 years left until you are retiring. YOU STILL HAVE TIME. I have clients that are 55 years old and who are done with the jobs that they hate. They want to spend their last years in the workforce doing something they love not something that they are just tolerating. I have clients who have done complete 180s in the career because they realized they had been pursuing someone else’s dream – their parents, society’s and that it is time to start going after their own dreams.
My message to you: YOU STILL HAVE TIME.
2. I am afraid
Change is scary. The unknown is terrifying. The thought of failure is enough to have you quaking in your boots. So you stay, you may say to yourself that there is no guarantee, that the grass is always greener or the whole “devil you know”, all excuses to allow you to succumb to your fear.
Which is exactly what it wants you to do. Our brains don’t like change and fear is the voice that helps keep us in check. So we listen to it because at the end of the day we don’t want it yelling at us. We may think that it is all well and good for other people, that they are different, that they aren’t fearful.
But let me let you in on a secret. We all have fear talking to us, yelling at us to stop. I know fear has a starring role in my life most of the time, not letting it get in my way of joy in my life and career is a constant struggle.
Fear never goes away. That would be like saying we can completely eliminate happiness, sadness or anger from our lives. It just doesn’t happen. But we can change how we respond and react to fear. I know for me, I recognize when fear starts talking. And I calmly welcome it and tell it that no matter what it says that it isn’t going to get in the way of me moving forward. The key is to recognize it because fear is sneaky and it can wear many masks, so you have to be careful!
My message to you: you can’t be brave without fear
3. I am not good enough
Being in a job you hate pulls us into a negative whirlwind of thoughts. The star of the show is typically that you are not worth it, you can’t do it, that you are not good enough or deserving of a job you love.
This thought is like the heaviest of weights we add to our shoulders that we must carry throughout all aspects of our lives. Meaning that it is a dangerous thought, one that has negative impacts. It slows us down on any sort of forward progress, it drains us of all energy and gets in the way of enjoying not just your career and job but your life.
If this is you then surrounding yourself with people who value you, you build you up and who believe in you is a good first step. Finding a cheerleader to stand in your corner, to help lessen the load and to remind you of your worth is key.
My message to you: you are worth it.
4. I don’t have time
Life is busy. Commuting 2+ hours, working 10+ hours, trying to fit in our life obligations (family, friends, etc) leaves us barely enough time to sleep never mind time to figure out what we want and to go after it.
One question I have for those who don’t have time (and a question I often ask myself), is why are you so busy? Overworking and busyness is often a tactic that we use to distract ourselves from our feelings of dissatisfaction, uneasiness and unhappiness. Kind of like emotional eating or shopping or scrolling endlessly through social media – working too many hours may be a coping mechanism that you have so that you don’t have to deal with those feelings.
If that is the case, stop it. Feel those feelings, figure out the thoughts behind those feelings and stop allowing yourself to procrastinate moving towards career happiness by working long hours. Make a commitment to work 30 minutes less each day, 30 minutes that’s it! That is 2.5 hours per week that you can devote to you and your career dreams!
My message to you: carve out some time
5. I’m too stressed
This ties in with the above, when life is busy it often causes us to feel stressed out and overwhelmed so it feel easier to just ignore those feelings and to stay stuck.
I understand, the thought of adding one thing to your growing and never shrinking To Do List is just too overwhelming. It feels impossible, even if it is for something you want.
But we can’t stay stressed forever and when you hate your job that stress is only ever going to get worse. And take it from me, it begins to suffocate you. You feel like you are drowning and that there is no way to be saved.
There is though. Take a mental health day and focus only on you, not on your to do list. And don’t even think about a new job, only focus on how you can reduce your stress load. Like I spoke about on a recent Discover Your Career Q&A – write down all of your problems, brainstorm all types of solutions and then pick one thing. That is it. That momentum will be enough to get you moving.
My message to you: Do 1 thing to reduce stress and start living your life.
6. I don’t know what I want
When we are stuck in jobs we hate, with bills to pay, mouths to feed and constant messages from family, friends and society about what our careers should look like, it can be really hard to know what we want.
Think back to high school, what was the message you heard? I know for me, at my high school, there were only a few career options that were ever discussed. A trade if you didn’t do too well in school, a teacher if you liked school, a lawyer or doctor if you were smart and maybe business in some capacity. 5 career options, that’s it.
But that isn’t the world we are in, especially now with careers that didn’t exist before and the internet allowing us to create niche jobs that you couldn’t otherwise create. So the world is literally your oyster.
There are a few things you can do to figure out what your fulfilling career can look like, some simple questions to ask yourself that gives you direction. Figure out some ideas, talk to others in those roles and narrow it down.
My message to you: self discovery is the answer.
My goal is to help you stop telling these stories to yourself and instead replace them with stories that get you moving instead of staying.
So if you find yourself staying in a job you hate because you are telling yourself 1 (or more!) of these 6 things then it might be time to talk to someone.
A free Discover Your Career strategy call is 20-30 minutes long where we talk about where you are now and where you want to go and how to get there. It is an easy 1 thing to do! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule yours.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
Dream Career Planner
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