Common Cycle For Job Seekers
Job seeker puts lots of effort and time into applying for jobs and networking
Job seeker starts to make progress and secures interviews
They start feeling confident and excited as interviews start progressing to latter stages
So they focus all their energies on the interviews in the belief that one of the interviews will convert into a job offer
They consequently take the foot off the gas: so less networking and less energy into applying for other jobs
Then one by one, the opportunities start to fold: One role goes on hold, one role is offered to an internal candidate and the other role gets offered to a competing candidate
The job seeker has nothing in the pipeline and needs to start their marketing activities all over again
Feeling depressed, they then take a week ‘off’ from job searching to lick their wounds and reflect on their empty pipeline
They go to the top of this chain to begin the whole marketing process again
The Classic Mistake
I’ve seen so many job seekers make this very same mistake.
By taking their foot off the gas and focussing only on existing opportunities, they leave their job search to chance. As soon as they receive a few rejections (which is normal), they find themselves with an empty pipeline and the prospect of waiting weeks before they secure more interviews and ultimately a job offer.
But the way to avoid this happening is to build a strong pipeline of opportunities and having plenty of ‘irons in the fire’
1. Focus on creating new opportunities each and every week
Ensure you continue adding new networking contacts and new job applications to the pipeline every week. Regardless of how many interviews you have on the go, regardless of how confident you feel about a particular opportunity converting into a job offer.
2. Set weekly activity targets
“I will reach out to 15 existing contacts this week via email”
“I will speak to at least 10 people via phone to catch up”
“I will spend one day out and about for face to face meeting”
“ I will apply for at least 5 new jobs”
“ I will set up 3 new meetings for the next two weeks”
If you’re currently working, these targets above won’t be realistic at all – Set whatever activity targets work for you and your circumstances.
3. Ring fence time early in the week / day to create new opportunities
If you decide to focus on new applications and new opportunities on a Thursday or Friday, I can guarantee all sorts of things will happen to distract you (e.g. new interviews, new meetings, personal errands etc).
Similarly, decide you will do it late afternoon and another priority (or laziness!) will often get in the way.
To prevent this happening, ring fence time early in the week and the first half of the day to focus on new opportunities. That way you are in control of your diary and your pipeline rather than circumstances.
4. Create some accountability
The above points sound great in theory – but the hard part is being disciplined enough to implement them on a week to week basis. And that’s why you need some accountability.
So buddy up with 2 or 3 fellow job seekers and hold each other accountable each week.
Or find a coach or mentor to hold you accountable whilst helping to accelerate your job search.
If you truly want to accelerate your job search, building a strong pipeline of opportunities really is the key. When you follow the above tips and truly build a healthy pipeline, you stop relying on hope and chance to find your job – and so have much greater control over your destiny.