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Friday, November 11, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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You are back in the job market and unsure where to turn. You have years of experience and a degree in your chosen field, but, you just can’t muster up the energy to go back in that particular trench again. You are fed up, you are done, you are ready to start anew. Now what?

Don Phin, Founder of HR That Works, stated in a recent webinar that 40% of employees are unhappy with their jobs. Now you have the opportunity to start fresh, and embrace a career you love and that brings fulfillment. Where will you go, what will you do?

It’s time to utilize some thought and planning; it’s not the time for a shotgun approach to employment. The shotgun approach is the process of applying for any and every job with the hopes that eventually one of them will “hit” and you will get hired. There is nothing strategic about this approach, it is purely a numbers game. When you choose to strategically plan, market and network, you are employing a narrowed “laser-like” focus, which will yield rewarding results which will increase the chances to finding that elusive job satisfaction.

Bill Temple, Career Coach, and author of “The Art and Science of Landing Your Next Job (available at has easy steps to help unemployed folks get back in the game in a strategic manner. Lets explore Bill’s 4 steps to get you started down the strategic path to job hunting:

If you go into a process thinking you will fail, you probably will. It’s time to get your head in the game and commit to a new path, a new way of thinking.

What is your personal “skill set” or “product?” Who is in need of this product? Who are your consumers? At what level (entry level, line employee, supervisor, manager, or executive) do you fit in the organizational structure? What specific position/job title are you aiming for?

In addition to Bills advice, I urge you to be honest with yourself. What is it you want to do? What is it you are skilled to do? Are you unsure? Consider taking an assessment test to discover and “hone in” on your specific skill set and associated careers. Here are a few assessment center websites recommended by Caitlin Sampson*, Career Transition Specialist, with Regal Resumes:
Strong Interest Inventory

Take time to evaluate what is it you really NEED out of a job - be truthful - then write it down based on the following criteria:

PERSONAL NEEDS: close to home, telecommuting option, work-life balance, level of independence
WORK CULTURE NEEDS: flexible schedule, preferred shift, family owned vs. corporate culture, supervisory responsibility, amount of customer contact, volunteerism, community
WORK BENEFIT NEEDS: base salary, health insurance, tuition reimbursement, retirement plan

Having explored your own needs will put you in a better position to target those employers that meet your criteria. Make sure you update your resume to highlight skills that compliment your new career choice, furthermore, you need to personalize your resume to each individual job and/or employer.

While specializing each resume to the job is more time consuming, it provides that “laser like” focus and helps you stand out as the preferred candidate of choice.

This is where your network comes in. Do you know anyone at your target employers; anyone in the target industry? You need to market yourself to your network touting your qualifications, why it makes sense for your connection and the mutual benefit. Use the vast reaches of social media to leverage your connective power, but don’t underestimate the power of real human connection and conversation.

You need to stay in touch and keep people posted on your activities. Bill provides an additional tip here; “make yourself accountable to other for your efforts. It will keep you on track far better than just relying on yourself.”

You now have directions and plan. The sooner you start working on your plan, the faster you will be on your way to a new, rewarding and enriching career.

“If you, too, find work that gives you meaning and purpose, you will find well-being.” ~Marie Claire

*Caitilin Sampson appeared on the November 6, 2011, Reach Out Job Search Radio program. Ms. Sampson will re-join the ROJS Radio program the first Sunday of each month through February, 2012, highlighting tips for seeking employment in the 21st Century.

If you need assistance in tailoring your new resume with your new scope, Regal Resumes can help. You can find us at

Guest Writing for Regal Resumes:
Jolaine Jackson, SPHR, IPMA-CP, Owner of "On The Spot Resources, LLC"

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