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The Insane Job Search

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Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Job searching is not a normal part of this blog, but I feel compelled to comment on it.  I’ve got a dear friend who is out of work right now.  I try to be supportive in her search.  However, I find it increasingly frustrating that she is using traditional job hunting techniques over and over without having any success. 

She has been unemployed for a long stretch – going on 14 months.  She has always been successful in her career as a corporate executive.  She has changed jobs frequently and always moved up the ladder and made more money.  In the past, she has always found new jobs through head hunters and networking.  So that’s what she is trying now.  But she has been trying that approach for 14 months and not gotten an offer.  She waits for the phone to ring and watches television.

The world has changed.  Work and jobs have changed.  After 14 months, it is time for a new approach.

If you are job searching and stuck in a rut, here are some thoughts on different approaches:

1.   Re-set your expectations – you might have to step into a lower level and lower paying job to get in the door with a new company.  Once inside, you can focus on working back up.

2.  Get education or certifications to make your skill set broader and more marketable.

3.  Find consulting or contract jobs to keep yourself engaged and busy and bring in some income.  One of these might lead to a full-time gig.

4.  Do something with your unemployed time.  Volunteer or teach or focus on a hobby.  You need a good story to tell to explain what you’ve done with your time.

5.  Consider going in a whole new direction.  Maybe it is time for a new career direction.  Explore some options.

6.  Consider becoming an entrepreneur.  Start a business.  There are a lot of options online and other places that you could try.  They all take time and energy, but some of them can be done with a small monetary investment.

7.  Expand your networking.  Reach beyond people you already know.  Find new connections on social sites like Linked In or attend conferences in your industry to meet new people.

8. Become active on the discussion boards and blogs related to your field.  You can find these on Linked In and Facebook and Alltop.com and lots of other places.  Read blogs related to your field, leave comments and engage the blogger.  Better yet – start a blog and start establishing yourself as an expert.

In any case, do something.   Mix it up.  Try some new things.  Maybe you’ll get a different outcome.

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