Eight Steps to Successful Job Search Project Management

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Project You: Eight Steps to Successful Job Search
Finding a job is very similar to managing a work project. After you get over the shock of unemployment and the fear of financial and career disaster, put the project management skills you brag about in your resume to work to find a new job. Even if you never managed a project at work, you can use these eight steps to help organize your job search and keep you on track.

1. Determine your desired outcome. Stephen Covey, in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” suggested you “begin with the end in mind.” If you don’t have a clear picture of the type of job, location, salary range, work environment and other critical job satisfaction factors, you can waste a lot of time and energy. You may end up with a great job offer for a job you don’t want. Write down specific goals and focus your efforts on finding the job that’s right for you.

2.  List tasks involved. You’ll need an updated resume and cover letters. What online jobsites are best to find a job? Jobsites like http://www.phillyjobs.com/ focus on the best jobs in the Philadelphia area. One of the larger sites may have a lot of jobs, but may not meet your criteria for location, travel time, or industry type. You’ll need to search out networking opportunities. Join LinkedIn and set up a great profile page. You get the picture.

3.  Assign a time factor for the completion of each task. “Someday” your prince may come, but in the meantime, you need a schedule to get things going. Setting goals and a timeline will get you moving toward your goal.

4.  Set a deadline. Take a realistic look at your finances. How long can you hold out before you need to start working again? Don’t accept what the media says about how long it takes to find a job in this economy. Setting a deadline is motivating.

5.  Are tasks sequential or concurrent? Can you start networking before your resume is perfect? Should you take a volunteer position immediately or wait for awhile? Employers seem to agree they would rather hire someone who has a job than someone who’s unemployed. Even though you aren’t paid, you still show initiative and a worker mentality that wants to be contributing and productive.

6.  Lay out a timeline. Set incremental milestones such as the number of resumes you will send each week or networking events you’ll attend. Just like losing weight, it’s slow and steady. Consistent efforts over time will eventually get results.

7.  Delegate tasks, downsize, and eliminate tasks. Hire a consultant to update your resume, get
some advice on organizing your job search and set up a tracking system. Eliminate job search methods and networking events that aren’t effective. Put your efforts into those activities that promise a better return.

8.  Negotiate deadlines and resources. Be flexible. After a period of time, you may need to take a hard look to see why you’re not getting results. Do a mock interview with a friend and videotape the session. How do you come across to a potential employer? You may need to adjust your timeline to include some coaching and training to polish your interview style or beef up your resume.

What other steps have you found to be effective in organizing your job search? Share your
tips with other readers in the Comments section below.

Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, is a consultant, blogger, motivational speaker and freelance writer for phillyjobs.com. Based in Savannah, GA, her work has appeared in Training magazine, Training & Development magazine, Supervision, BiS Magazine and The Savannah Morning News. When she’s not writing, she enjoys singing with the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and helping clients reinvent their careers for today’s job market. You can read more of her blogs at phillyjobs.com and view additional job postings on Nexxt.



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