Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

The Job Search Process

Years ago when I first started reading books on the job search and talking with other job seeker advisors, HR recruiters, external recruiters, and job seekers, I found that there were lots of good ideas and thousands of tips out there. However, it struck me that there wasn’t any way for a job seeker to get his/her arms around all of it and put it into a context or framework that could be used as a guide for job search activity.

Certainly, there are job search steps/tasks that everyone is familiar with like writing resumes, interviewing, and negotiating. But are those all the steps/tasks? Is the sequence of steps/tasks clear?

I spent a large part of my working career with organizations that were really into “process.” They understood their “processes” extremely well and were continually working to improve them. While a lot of other organizations were largely just focused on “results,” process focused organizations realize that “if you get the process right, the results will come almost automatically.”

As a consequence of that background, it wasn’t too long after I got into this job seeker advisor role that I recognized the need for and established a “process” for the job search. “My Book” (see my page in this blog on it) is completely organized around this “process”. Page 19 of my book has a 1-page flow chart which lays out the entire “process” for a job seeker and offers an ongoing checklist mechanism for a job seeker to ensure that he/she is doing all the right things and in roughly the right order.

Here is a summary of my job search “process”. It has 6 “Phases” and 18 “steps/tasks.” While it is OK for a job seeker to perform “steps/tasks” within a phase in pretty much any order or simultaneously, you shouldn’t move on to the next
“phase” without completing the previous “phase.”

Phase I- Separating
     Step/Task 1 –  Deal with the Shock
     Step/Task 2 – Separate from Your Last Employer

Phase II- Planning
     Step/Task 3 –  Develop a Career Plan
     Step/Task 4 –  Hold Informational Interviews
     Step/Task 5 –  Define Your Desired Job
     Step/Task 6 –  Define Your Desired Compensation

Phase III- Preparing
     Step/Task 7 –  Develop Your Promotional Material
     Step/Task 8 –  Develop Your Job Search Skills
     Step/Task 9 –  Get Help
     Step/Task 10 – Develop a Method to Record Your Job Hunting Activity

  Phase IV – Seeking
     Step/Task 11 –  Pursue Posted Jobs
     Step/Task 12 –  Pursue Target Employers
     Step/Task 13 –  Networking, Networking, Networking
     Step/Task 14 – Use External Recruiters

Phase V – Acquiring
     Step/Task 15 –  Interviewing
     Step/Task 16 –  Negotiating

Phase VI – Wrapping Up
     Step/Task 17 –  Thank Everyone Who Helped You
     Step/Task 18 –  Maintain Your Network


February 5, 2010 - Posted by | All

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