Plan the Hunt, Hunt the Plan

Project 2012: Day 163

Janet is an executive assistant at a Non-Profit Organisation. She is one of the most organised people I know. Someone who just relishes the detail, she organises everything into its place, and makes sense of the world. So it’s rather ironic that in her current job search, she has no plan. Needless to say, her success has been rather “hit and miss.” From week to week she’ll chop and change between going for an interview, applying for a new role, and generally feeling overwhelmed.

To say that Janet is fraught with anxiety is understating the case. At any time she has to take an afternoon off, or find an acceptable excuse to be out of the office. Again!

Taking Control

Yet, this is a common irony. We tend to default to accepting the process that recruiters and hiring organisations wish to impose. By now you’ll appreciate that we’re not going to succumb to this.

On the contrary, take control. Getting your dream job is a project not unlike buying a new house, getting a degree, or selling your car.

So you want to plan the hunt. Then hunt according to your plan.

Once you have a plan in place, you can measure success. This takes the pressure off when your internal voice tells you that there’s no hope. Simply point to the plan, and point out your successes to date. This also puts the right pressure on you, by highlighting the milestones you need to achieve to get the job you want, and determining the action you have to take.

This also gives three other benefits:

  • You can demonstrate to your loved ones just how much you’re actually doing to get that next job. This takes the pressure off of them too, which indirectly takes pressure off of you.
  • You can start to schedule and plan your life accordingly. If you’re working, this means you can plan days off in advance, and use them effectively by scheduling two or more interviews on the same day. If you’re out of work, having a plan of activities helps you avoid both boredom and disillusionment.
  • Finally as you work through the plan and the “map meets reality” you’ll be clear on what to change, and where to focus effort.

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