When you’re going through a job transition, there is often the desire to find the perfect role as quickly as possible and to cross “find a job” off your to-do list so you can move on with your life. You are often in uncharted territory; there is a lot riding on finding your next situation and you just want to get it done.
As someone who had been “out of a job” for decades – in the sense that I’m always looking for jobs on behalf of other people – I can share firsthand that in order to keep your mind and emotions balanced while in the middle of a search, you have to be consistent with your job search activity.
There is a tendency, however, when an opportunity looks promising, to sell yourself on the hope that the opportunity will work out to the exclusion of continuing to perform the activities which got you to that point in the first place.
What are these activities?
Whether you are between situations or not, every day is essentially a day of branding, marketing, and selling, and these are the essential components for networking yourself into your next opportunity.
Your Personal Job
I know it sounds very sales-like to finance executives, but outside of performing your core skills on the job, you are always branding, marketing, and selling. You brand yourself when you become involved in peer groups within your industry. You market yourself when you communicate your value proposition by your words and actions with the colleagues with whom you interact. You sell yourself when you pick up the phone and speak to a new referral or extend your hand to someone new at a conference. These are the actions that eventually get you to new opportunities, often at times when you really need them.
The challenge when you are working is to find time to do the “selling” of yourself. The challenge if you are between situations is that you’ll find yourself doing more “selling” than you’ve had to do before, and this can be difficult once you run out of new contacts. At that point you start to look for more creative ways to get in touch with people. It’s a process, and a process you need to continue. There are no short cuts.
So, if you find yourself selling yourself on the hope that an opportunity will work out, remember that the operative words in any search are “work out”. Nothing is done until it’s done. You need to let the process work itself out by focusing on branding, marketing, and selling yourself. Resist stopping your activity. If you find that a particular opportunity has stalled but you have enough other opportunities in the hopper, it will be easy to say “next” until you find yourself in a position of saying: “I accept your offer.”