Sometimes we find that we have achieved a comfortable groove with our job search and career management. If that describes you, you might want to consider that a synonym for “groove” is “rut”! Achieving a comfortable groove sounds better than being stuck in a rut, but the concept is still the same. You are basically going nowhere, fast.
This quote that I found while reading items on SmartBrief on Your Career suggests a concept that I believe is worth considering: “After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.”
Alfred E. Perlman, American businessman
Remember, Mr. Perlman said this should happen after ten years. So we’re not talking here about throwing the whole thing out after a few weeks or months. A lot can and does change in the employment situation over time–and often not very much time, at that. If you are still using a job search strategy that you put together a few years ago, you might be cheating yourself out of good job opportunities. In today’s uncertain economic climate and competitive job market, that’s less desirable than ever.
Look at your career situation from the perspective that everything needs to be reevaluated periodically. If a job search strategy or job search tactic has worked well for you recently, you might not need to change it–at least, not significantly–for quite some time. However, you can and probably should take an objective look at it each time you start a new job search campaign or begin considering one. For example, a tactic that initially supported your overall strategy well might now be of questionable value and potentially even detrimental to your job search. If so, you definitely want to look at viable alternatives. Maybe there’s a new development you haven’t tried yet that seems promising for your needs.
One definition of “strategy” is “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” You need to do more than just define your job search strategy, important as that is. Doing something strategically relates to “creating direction and priorities that will advance both your short-term and long-term direction and efforts” (from a blog post on Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, titled “We Are Less Strategic Than Ever“).
That strongly suggests the importance of not changing your strategy–or your tactics, for that matter–without giving thought to the likely downstream effects. Consider carefully before you update your job search strategy, especially if you’re looking at the possibility of taking steps that involve a major commitment of your time, money or other resources. However, don’t let this stop you completely from moving forward. No action is not the best alternative to rash action!