Job Search – Got a Foolproof Plan?

Have you ever had a job search go exactly as planned from start to finish? Seriously? In case my question wasn’t clear, I don’t mean in your dreams but in real life! In fact, if you ever did have that experience, I’d love to hear about it, because I don’t think I’ve ever run into someone who could make that claim truthfully.

Job Search Speed Bumps & Roadblocks

Road closedSince we recently entered a new year, with what feels like an unusually high level of uncertainty on many fronts, this subject has been on my mind a lot.

No matter how carefully you plan, factors outside your control can turn things upside down in a hurry. As I’ve probably noted before, Scottish poet Robert Burns held a pragmatic view of planning: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley.”

What are some of the job search speed bumps and roadblocks you might encounter? Here’s just a short sample list:

  1.  A new US president takes office and enacts policies that could affect the hiring practices of many organizations. If your target employers face challenges because of this change, will it hamper your job search?
  2. The industry you’re in suddenly gets hit with devastating physical events, such as a natural or man-made disaster, that put a serious crimp in employment prospects. Your job search plan might not have taken that possibility into account.
  3. Our economy takes a sharp and prolonged dip that eats a big hole in the savings you had set aside to help keep you going while you look for a new job. What does your plan have to say about that?

This isn’t meant to suggest that you shouldn’t plan your job search. Far from it! Just be aware that you can’t expect everything to go according to your initial plan.

You can–and should–try to anticipate foreseeable events and put a contingency plan in place as backup in case something you couldn’t foresee crops up. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that extra effort is a waste of time because “what could possibly go wrong?” (You might not like the answer to that question!)

No Foolproof Job Search Plan? Plan Anyway!

Plan Ahead Beats No Planning in Overcoming Problem Crisis

A good, basic job search plan is better than no plan at all. The idea is to develop a plan that’s the best you can come up with, based on available information.

Do your homework regarding the upside and downside possibilities for your job search. If you do it right, you’re not likely to panic and make a bad decision if something disturbing suddenly appears on the horizon.

Be aware, too, that you can overlook or underestimate possible hazards in your job search planning. This suggests that you need to be alert throughout the job search process–definitely reevaluate the situation fairly often, for starters. Complacency can torpedo your job search–it’s not worth the risk.


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