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How To Finish Strong in Your Job Search

It’s your full time job now.

As a jobseeker, you’ve heard that “Finding a job is your full-time job!” and “You are a business and you have to market yourself that way.” I relate to both of those.

Seven years ago when I started Forward Motion, I knew how to help people find a job that fit, but I didn’t have a clue about running a business. The learning curve seemed endless. There was a branding statement, a unique value proposition, an elevator speech, a business plan, vendor management, startup money and negotiation. Don’t forget the whole networking factor: networking one-on-ones, networking lunch, networking phone calls, cold calls, warm leads… I had no idea about the scope of building a business.

Jobseekers describe a similar phase. The process has become incredibly complex and they tell me that finding a job has changed so much that they don’t know where to start. I find that most jobseekers take at minimum of three months to understand the scope of finding a job and figure out a plan to effectively organize their search.

Job Seeker Beware: Myths become rules.

There are many myths that jobseekers are pelted with every day:

  • There are no jobs.
  • It’s all about who you know.
  • The online systems are impossible.
  • Most positions aren’t even posted.
  • You are too old.
  • You are too young.
  • Your internship didn’t count.
  • No one gets back to you because you are invisible!
  • You are over-qualified.
  • You are under-qualified.
  • Recruiters don’t like jobseekers.
  • You don’t have enough experience.
  • You’ve been out too long.
  • You have to be a whiz-bang sales person to land a job today.

You know the list. Remember that these are MYTHS! The problem is that myths, by definition, are a set of beliefs; and beliefs are our reality. These myths become our daily rules. The nay-sayers support these rules and add discouragement:

  • You can’t get a job.
  • If you’ve been out of work for over two months, forget it!
  • No one wants to hire you.
  • You’re skills aren’t up to date.
  • There are no jobs.
  • If you’d try harder, you’d be working by now.

You know this list too. Together, these myths-now-rules, wrestle their way into our beliefs. With our passive permission, they become the pattern for our thinking. It becomes easier to give up our hope, our dreams, and even our belief in ourselves. Our will to keep going shrinks and may disappear.

Choose not to listen to myths.

Here are some people who chose not to listen to the myths.





Lessons Learned:

  • Protect your dreams for your future.
  • Take others with you.
  • Give thanks. Count your blessings.
  • Firmly and adamantly resist negativity.
  • Manage your “mental traffic” with care.
  • When people are unhelpful—forgive them and stay focused.
  • Choose to believe you can do it.
  • Find a great cause and be a part of it.
  • Learn, practice, and polish the skills needed to get a job.
  • Commit to your job-search routine.
  • Don’t give up.

I am determined not to quit. I’m incredibly exhausted and I have been for a long, long time. Sometimes I’m frustrated, exasperated, and discouraged. Aside from my faith, here are a few things that keep me going:

  • The best one is when a client gets a job. NICE!
  • When we’ve tweaked the résumé just right and calls for interviews start coming in.
  • When I see people who are in industries that are slow or they are not hiring. But these people get up every day and they keep to their job-search routine. They fill out new applications, go to networking meetings, and keep on polishing their new skill sets. They do their best to keep negativity to a minimum. No matter what, they keep on keeping on. They refuse to give up.
To jobseekers everywhere who refuse to give up: You are my heroes. Thank you for your encouragement.
Here is a fellow who has learned that falling down is not the end and he’s learned to get back up—every day. He will inspire you to finish strong.

How to finish strong:

If you are willing to learn and change, and you don’t give up, you will get a job.

Call to action:
Make this a commitment.
Send me an email with the subject line: "I will not give up."
In the body of the email, create a list of what you have learned since you started your quest to find employment. Tell me what your greatest challenge has been. I will respond to each email.
Marcia LaReau: mlareau@forwardmotioncareers.com.

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