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How to avoid the single biggest time waster when jobseeking

17th May 2012

When I coach younger jobseekers, I often find that before they start working with me, they have wasted a lot of job seeking effort. They tell me that they are bombarded with advice but much of it conflicts. It's great to see some positive numbers coming out of those scary unemployment figures: 45,000 fewer jobseekers this month but many are still not nailing the full time jobs they really want to target. Just as with the unemployment statistics, mixed messages are confusing less-experienced jobseekers. 

The key to looking in the right place for your next job is to know what your ideal job is, how much of that job you can do now and what the right 'first job' is that will get you your ideal job.

Sounds simple, but many less -confident jobseekers don't know what they really want to do in terms of how they earn their living, let alone what they have to offer their next employer. Many are panicked by all the news headlines into frantically applying for every advertised vacancy they find on organisational websites, trade, local or national press, or agency shop windows. That urgent pressure from the politicians and commentators (how many of them struggled to get their first step on the jobs ladder, I wonder?) and sometimes parents, to " get a job, any job" , can rush younger jobseekers into wasting time scattering one standard application across many improbable vacancies. I've also seen apathy set in: overwhelmed by the scale of the task, some just give up. 

To help you see the wood for the trees, I'd like to suggest some helpful questions to answer before you re-write your CV or complete one more application form. Imagine your last day at work, many years into the future, immediately before you retire from a successful (you define 'successful') career.  

What tasks or jobs have you most enjoyed doing and why?

What skills have you used over most of your career?

Where, when and how did you learn them?

Which job started you off in this successful career?

How did you find it?

Many people find these reflections help to start clarifying what they are looking for now and what they can offer. You will give of your best to any employer, and consequently be rewarded for what you do, when you enjoy and are engaged with your work- it will be the right job for you, not just any job. Now you can start to focus your jobseeking. 

The essence of my coaching experience with less-confident jobseekers is about to be published as: 'Nail That Job- The complete guide for the less-experienced jobseeker.' In Chapter 1, you will discover more activities to help you identify what you want and need from your next job and how to describe clearly what you have to offer your next employer. 

Click here for more information about this vital resource and how it could help you spend your jobseeking time and effort effectively to nail the right job for you.

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