Every job search advice article you have read always says to “network.” Although estimates and surveys vary, most of the current studies peg networking as being involved – to one degree or another – in 80-85 percent of all job placements. As important as networking is, there are things you should be doing before you step out of the door or pick up a phone. Those things start with a network of one: yourself.
Step one in finding and securing a position is self-examination. Before you start on a journey, it certainly helps if you know (even more or less) where you’re going. My own career path is a good example. Eschewing my family’s vision for me to be a barber, I took a friend’s advice and went to college to earn a degree in psychology.
After a short stint as a management trainee with a men’s clothing firm, I worked for a woman’s clothing firm as an employment supervisor where I hired disabled applicants from a rehabilitation center. By virtue of that “accident” of hiring the disabled, I went down a road to accept a post as a rehabilitation counselor and that became my decades long career.
Did I have a career plan? Did I have any long-term goals? Was there an outlined progression in my early job assignments? Did I do any research into those companies? Did I investigate the HR (or any related) industry? The day I got my psychology degree was rehabilitation counselor even on my radar screen? I think you know the answer.
Finding a job is an accident. Finding a new direction is an accident. If you do your homework and self-evaluation, you can create quality accidents.