Monday, January 14, 2008

I just finished reading Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur by Frumi Rachel Barr which chronicles one entrepreneur's professional and personal life over several decades. After owning several businesses, Barr became a business coach and a lot of her advice for small business owners is relevant to people in a job search. Here are some of my favorite suggestions from her book and my take on how these concepts apply to a job search:

  • "Make a list of your core values. Which ones do you actively support? Which ones need your attention?" For the job seeker, core values should be examined to help them decide what type of company they want to work for. What are your priorities? Do you value money, great benefits, meaningful work, a relaxed dress code, flexibility, lots of vacation time...the more aligned the corporate culture is with your core values and life priorities the greater the likelihood that you will succeed in that organization.
  • "Make a list of all the people who fall into your different role categories. What actions should you spend energy on?" In the world of job search, job seekers need to develop a targeted networking strategy that gets them in front of the right people with the greatest possible frequency. All networking activities are not created equal. Take the time to examine your network and concentrate on the relationships and affinity groups that will optimize your visibility and keep you in front of the right audience.
  • "Start a journal. Make notes about your impressions of yourself and your decision making process. Did you get to where you are because you followed a plan or did things just happen?" Journaling during a job search can be a great way to relieve stress and it can also be an excellent strategy for reviewing past career successes and mistakes. The more introspective you can be about the past, the greater the chance of finding the right culture and fit at your next job.
  • "What are you afraid of? What fears are holding you back?" Have you resisted pursuing your dream job because you fear that you will fail or that people around you won't understand? How would you feel if you were selected for the job of your dreams and what would it look like? By visualizing your success you may overcome your fears and get one step closer to your perfect job.
  • "What trade offs are you making in your life right now and what are you willing to trade to get where you want to go?" Job search requires a significant commitment and a certain amount of risk. Job seekers need to stretch during a job search and take some calculated risks. What sacrifices have you made for current or past employers and what were the consequences? What sacrifices are you willing to make moving forward to find the right job?

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