Feature: Managing Your Expectations and Your Effort

Feature: Managing Your Expectations and Your Effort

Feature: Managing Your Expectations and Your Effort

According to a new survey by Yahoo!, people are now changing jobs every 2-5 years. In other words, if you aren’t in an active job search right now, you likely will be in the not too distant future. This environment of continuous movement presents all of us with a choice: we can either decide to be in charge of these changes or let ourselves become their victim.

How can you gain control over such an inherently unstable environment? As best you can, know what to expect and what you can do to make these transitions as successful as possible. The Yahoo! findings offer some important insights that can help you with both.

The Yahoo! poll was conducted in May of this year and garnered responses from 3,714 U.S. workers aged 18 to 64 who were either employed or had been in the last five years. Here’s what it found:

  • Over one-third of all job seekers have been looking for a job for more than 6 months;
  • Fewer than six-out-of-ten (59%) of the active job seekers spent at least 1 hour per day on their search; and
  • Almost eight-in-ten (79%) were using the Internet to find a new or better job.
  • With over a third of the respondents spending over half a year in transition, it’s clear that looking for a job today can be a long and arduous process. For years now, the conventional wisdom has been that you should expect your job search to last a full month for every $10,000 of salary you expect to earn. In other words, if you’re looking for a salary of $50,000, you are likely to spend five months looking a suitable position; if you can command a salary of $120,000, you are likely to spend a year in transition.

    I don’t think the job market is governed by such hard and fast rules, but this particular guideline is helpful because it makes sure we appreciate just how enormous and difficult an undertaking a job search is. It’s not a vacation with a little effort-a measly 1 hour per day-around the edges. It’s one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever have. And, using the Internet doesn’t change that; in fact, the Internet makes finding a dream job even more difficult. In the old days, you competed against only the people who read your local newspaper. Today, most employers post their openings online, so you’re battling it out with anyone and everyone who has an Internet connection. That means you’re up against the people who live across town and those who live on the other side of the state and even on the other side of the country. If they’re willing to relocate, they can compete with you, and in many cases today, they do.

    It’s naïve, therefore, to expect a job search today to be either easy or short. If you’re willing to take the first lousy job that comes along, you can, of course, shorten the process, but if you have pride in your work and want to be employed where you can do your best work, then finding such a position is likely to take time and effort. The key to success, therefore, is to hope for a quick and pressure-free transition, but plan for the opposite.

    What should your preparations entail? I recommend that you begin by taking the following steps:

  • Get your family ready for the challenge. They’re a part of your transition too, so manage their expectations by making sure they understand both what you’re trying to accomplish in your job search and what you’re up against in achieving that objective. Family support is a critical component of any employment change, but to provide that support, your family needs (and deserves) to know the true nature of the challenge you’re confronting.
  • Get yourself ready for the challenge. Manage your own expectations and set a pace that’s not too fast, but not too slow either. A successful job search-one that enables you to capture a job that will increase both the paycheck and the happiness you bring home from work each day-involves determined, concentrated and quality effort. In other words, the only way to land a dream job is by working hard at finding it. You can’t play at a job search; you have to treat it like a job and deliver sustained, superior performance. Any less of an effort all but guarantees that someone else will out-compete you and land the job you want.
  • In my book The Career Fitness System, I describe these preparations as similar to the way professional athletes get ready for a sports contest. They do two things to put themselves in a position where they have a real chance to achieve a victory. First, they are realistic about the nature of the challenge; they are not overconfident or careless about what they must do to be successful. Second, these athletes create a mental image of what it will take for them to reach their goal and they mentally practice that effort over and over again. Winners in the world of sports always expect to be tested and therefore, always give each and every contest their best effort. We should do the same when we’re competing for a new or better job.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    P.S.S. Don’t forget to send us your new e-mail address if you move. Lots of people are changing jobs these days, and we want to be sure you still have the information in WEDDLE’s to help you perform at your peak. All you have to do to keep your WEDDLE’s newsletter coming is send your change of address to pwj@weddles.com.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Boxwood Technologies and the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced that they will be partnering to provide online employment services to AHA member hospitals and other healthcare organizations. When it launches in November of this year, the service will include both a job bank and a searchable resume database for healthcare and other professionals who are looking for both clinical and non-clinical jobs. It will be accessible through the AHA Web-site.

    GMaps has been described as “a site for sore thighs.” More and more business travelers are bringing along their running shoes when they’re on trips and starting or ending their day with a jog around the local streets or parks. It’s hard to know how far you’ve gone in a strange neighborhood, however, so GMaps provides a solution. Using Google maps, it enables you to draw a route through an area and then provides the exact distance you’ll run and even the elevations you’ll encounter. It’s a great way to see the sights and see that you keep up with your normal running regimen while on the road.

    Health recently published a strategy for dealing with one of the great stressors of the modern workplace: the late afternoon, totally unexpected, completely out-of-the-blue but critically important briefing for the boss. What should you do? The magazine suggests the following (with my translation):

  • Feed your spirit by feeding your body. It’s important to keep your blood sugar level up, but instead of sucking down a candy bar, try hummus on a whole wheat pita or a handful of almonds and an apple.
  • Rehearse like you’re on Broadway. Don’t quietly review your notes, but instead deliver your presentation out loud twice; that will help you focus your thoughts and warm up your vocal cords.
  • Present the briefing like a performance. If at all possible, stand to make your presentation, but instead of putting one foot in front of the other, place your feet shoulder width apart, balance on the center of your feet (not on your heels), and always … always … look your boss in the eye.
  • The World Bank recently published its rankings of countries based on their laws for firing workers. The rankings were determined by the ease with which workers could be fired and the number of weeks of severance employers are required to pay. Beginning with the country where it is the easiest to fire employees and there is the lowest level of mandatory severance payments, they are:

  • United States: weeks of severance-0
  • Canada: weeks of severance-28
  • Mexico: weeks of severance-74.3
  • United Kingdom: weeks of severance-22.1
  • France: weeks of severance-31.8
  • Germany: weeks of severance-69.3
  • Japan: weeks of severance-8.6
  • China: weeks of severance-91
  • India: weeks of severance-55.9
  • WEDDLE’s surveyed job boards and found that hiring continues to be strong despite reports to the contrary by the U.S. Federal Government. “The Feds count new jobs that are being created, and that’s certainly important,” says WEDDLE’s Publisher Peter Weddle, “but every month, companies also have to fill “old” jobs that have been vacated by departing employees. These are great employment opportunities … if you know where to look for them.” How can you find these hidden gems of the job market? With WEDDLE’s Guides and Directories, the leading reference books to job boards and career portals on the Internet. WEDDLE’s latest books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important return every time you use them. So, don’t delay! Call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424 and place your order today.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 40,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful job search online, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the sites that will work best for you. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will connect you with the openings that might just be your dream job. For example:

    Absolutely Health Care

    http://www.healthjobsusa.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National-USA

    Number of jobs: 345,000+

    Salary levels of jobs: Up to $100K/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Healthcare professionals only

    Other services for job seekers: Career information, Links to other sites with job search/career resources

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

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