Job Searching From the Shadows

If you’re looking for work, surfing the Internet for job openings and submitting your résumé is a low-risk activity. You don’t have to talk to anyone, explain why you are in the job market or deliver a sales pitch. Plus, few will question your sincerity about wanting to find a job – after all, you are spending hours at your computer every day and sending out dozens of resumes! Unfortunately, this approach is taking all your time and keeping you from engaging in more productivity activities.

If you’re serious about starting over and landing a new job, then you have to put yourself out there.

Early on in the 42-blind-dates-period of my life, I came across a delightful little book entitled The Divorced Woman’s Guide to Meeting New Men. Each chapter was filled with ideas on how to plan and execute a strategic search for a “mate”: Go where single people go; talk about subjects single people talk about; dress and act like a person who is interested in a new relationship. Be specific about the type of person you are seeking.

Not only did the book contain all kinds of great “networking tips”, I found that by reading it in public, the book title itself attracted the attention I was seeking!

I was recently talking with a prospective client about his challenges in securing a new job. He shared with me that he never had to search for employment in the past; people who knew of him and what he had to offer sought him out. Over the years, he quit “putting himself out there” and he slowly became another nameless face in the employment market and forgot how to connect.

A few years ago, the keynote speaker at the National Résumé Writers Association Annual Convention was Cameron Johnson, a 24-year old who made his first million before he graduated from high school. He shared with us one of the key principles of his success: finding the courage to put himself out there. “If you put yourself out there with confidence,” says Johnson, “you’ll find that most people respect you and respond well to you, whether or not they want what you’re selling.”

So, why am I sharing this information? Because I firmly believe that one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in finding a job and advancing ones career is an unwillingness to “put yourself out there.”

Contrary to the old adage “It’s not what you know, it is who you know,” the true secret to success lies in the answer to this question: “Who knows what you know?”.

Everyday, you need to put yourself out there. You need to go where successful professionals go; you need to walk the walk and talk the talk; you need to feel confident about what you are selling and let people know you are out there. Stop hiding behind your computer and depending on Monster.com to deliver your dream job. Stop sending generic letters and résumés telling prospective employers what you need and what you want.

Pick up the phone. Schedule an informational interview. Attend a networking event. Join a job club. Participate in LinkedIn groups and conversations. Get involved with a professional association. Volunteer your time and expertise. Image yourself reading The Confident Professional’s Guide to Marketing Their Talents and broadcast it with confidence… you’ll be surprised who will take notice.

By all means… please put yourself out there!!

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