How To Get Out of Your Job Search Rut

Valerie is currently the CEO and owner of Valerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC. in which she offers Life, Leadership, and Career coaching for women as well as various Management and Human Resource consulting services such as program development, management, and evaluation, human resource audits, and employee handbook and other policy developments.
Mid-level career professionals oftentimes get comfortable in their positions, however, when it comes to job searching, it can be even more of a challenge. I usually hear from my clients that there are things that they may not be good at, so they just stop doing them, or they became comfortable in their role, or a combination of those to continue challenging themselves as they did early on in their career. So, what are the things that mid-level career professionals should be spending time on in a job search and why? Let’s look at the strategies they oftentimes skip, miss, and even resist.

Personal Branding Matters

This is no longer something that can be skipped in your job search. While personal branding can be somewhat of a maze, it has long-lasting effects in your career. Why? When we forget personal branding or just do it all wrong, then it can negatively impact the type of job you land. As I always tell my clients, poor personal branding truly equates to lost opportunities. Here are some easy ways for you to begin enhancing your profile right now.

  • Update your headline. LinkedIn’s default setting is your current or last position. That’s not powerful or creative enough to get a recruiter’s attention. If you’re looking for a job, now is the time to make it pop. Make it talk about you in the totality of your professional world in one effective sentence.
  • Update your Professional Experience. Essentially what you want to do here is remove any duty-driven or passive language and update it to demonstrate your achievements, higher-level tasks, projects, and how they have contributed to the overall success of the organization. The best way to convey this is by incorporating any data or metrics into the language.
  • Join Groups. This doesn’t mean to join just any group. Like networking, it is important to be intentional and join groups in your industry that are making a mark in the field.
  • Post Regular Content Updates. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is updating their profile then leaving it alone. Post articles and other information daily reflect your thought leadership and reflect your passion for your field. Again, be intentional about the information that you are sharing.
Use your dream role and tell yourself when you’re {dream job title} at {dream organization} you will feel a specific way.
VALERIE MARTINELLI

Network Online and Offline- Heavily

When we are comfortable in our jobs, we tend to stop networking as well. Some professionals may have less than 100 connections on LinkedIn and have not spoken to anyone outside of their organization about work or their industry in many years. Something I hear quite often from my clients is that they are unsure how to even position themselves on LinkedIn to network and gain the networking power that is required in a job search. Some no longer know how to conduct themselves in networking situations, which means that not doing this regularly- even if you are happy with your role- will let you stay comfortable.

What helps here is having an actual networking strategy and shifting your mindset around it in order to expand your network for the necessary contacts to help you find work. Don’t network solely with those who are out of work and are feeling helpless and hopeless and don’t have anything going for them professionally- they cannot help your next opportunity. By doing this, you’re truly missing the point of networking and are holding yourself back from growth. This is what I call self-sabotaging and it can ultimately kill a job search.

Use LinkedIn more extensively to build a strong network that reaches 500+ connections. This isn’t just a number to recruiters. This is an actual metric that demonstrates your level of engagement with professionals in your industry and beyond. You want to connect with:

  • Past colleagues, managers/ bosses, employees, educators, and partners you’ve ever enjoyed working with or learning from
  • Individuals in any field or industry who think highly of you and what you do and are willing to provide you with endorsements and/ or recommendations
  • Professionals who are doing outstanding work in the industry and contributing in a meaningful manner
  • Thought leaders, experts, and authors who are important for you to follow to keep aware of new industry trends and developments in your field

Set a goal to connect with a specific amount of people per week on LinkedIn and identify others who have been avid supporters in the past and take them for coffee. Share with them what you’re hoping for the future and ask if they know of anyone who might be helpful to speak with. Do not forget to ask them how you can be of service to them as well.

Identify the Dream Role

It is important to take the time to develop your ideal job description. Allow yourself to think about it and write out the entire description and include all the details just like you would see in any other job description. Next, think about why you are a perfect fit for this ideal role and write out all your accomplishments, contributions, and experiences that make you so. Don’t just dream- talk to others about what you envision as your ideal role and why you’re perfect for it.

Learn a New Skill

Learning something new during a job search can feel exciting and expansive, a stark contrast from the depressing and demoralizing process of job searching. It also important at this time to commit to yourself and your growth and take control. This can help your self-esteem, energize you, and give you more to talk about. It will also push you out of isolation and into the world with others who are ready to make a positive difference in the world through their active engagement.

Attract What You Want

In order to attract what you want, it is important to already live there. You can’t think “if you find a job” or even “when you finally find a job”. Use your dream role and tell yourself when you’re {dream job title} at {dream organization} you will feel a specific way. When we use negative language and negative internal self-talk it distances us from where we want to be and from achieving our goals because we will think that we can’t or that we’re not capable of doing so. Continue to add to your list of achievements and accomplishments daily as well as why you’re grateful for your next opportunity. By changing your mindset, you will begin to attract what you want.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do as a mid-level career professional to find a job is to get outside of your comfort zone, change your mindset, and approach.

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