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Where your job search ends maybe very different from the beginning

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.


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