Critical mass in the job search is all about doing everything you can and should be doing until you have enough in the pipeline to begin to see more and more positive responses/activity. It may take a while. I’d like to share two, not so unusual, stories that led to success.
One young professional I was working with met me one day and she was very despondent about the outcomes of her search. She said she had been sending her resumes to all of the right places and talking to all of the right people and NO RESULTS! This having been our first meeting, there were a few unknowns for me. One was how long she had actually been looking for her next opportunity. I asked as gently as I could considering her despair. When she told me two and a half weeks, I was floored. That’s right – weeks.
Bless her heart… I shared some realities and we moved from there. She stayed strong. Fortunately for her, she really had been doing everything she said. In a number of months she found herself interviewing by phone and in person with several companies that were on her target list. Wouldn’t you know it – she received an offer with another still in the works. She hit her critical mass. Everyone’s different. What works for one person (their industry, their background, their drive) may not work for someone else…
Another woman I am mentoring found herself in a situation where her education was great but her work experience wasn’t strong enough to get her noticed for the type of jobs her education said she should get. We planned a transition that will span over the next few years – all dependent on the fact that she can stick with it when her emotions tell her she may need to abandon it. The questions that she had to answer for herself included 1) what the ultimate destination was and 2) what skills could she build on to get her there. With those answers in hands she approached several selected opportunities that were temp-to-hire and she landed. Things are looking good so far. The great thing that she is paid by the temp agency and even if this assignment doesn’t work out, no worries, she will move on as an employee of the temp agency (resume doesn’t change – yeah!). She is networking and building to the critical mass stage one assignment at a time.
Will these work for you? I don’t know. But I do know that they work. Each person must plan his or her unique career journey. There is no need to do it alone. There are so many resources out there. Find what might work for you and start with baby steps if necessary! But start!!!
All the best,