By S. Thomas Wharton
Here are the 5 Reasons You’re (Still?) Unemployed in 2017:
- You don’t have a plan
Envision and document your dream job or career change and work towards it. Plan what you need to do to get there and begin your strategic plan to make it happen. You can make it come true; you just have to believe in yourself and be willing to work long and hard. People move in the direction of their thoughts.
- You’re not working your plan
Conducting a job search or career change is hard work, requiring long hours. Your job is to find a job or change careers and this can easily involve 30+ hours a week. Schedule your job-related activities daily and in relation to how you’re most likely to find a right job. For example statistics continue to show that 75% of jobs are obtained through networking, therefore you should be spending 75% of your time networking. Do your computer work, like applying for jobs and research companies at night when your contacts are sleeping and conduct informational interviews and networking during the day. You should also be targeting companies, utilizing recruiters and capitalizing on the best online resources. Posting your resume on Monster or Career Builder will not offer much help.
- You’re not capitalizing on networking opportunities
The number one reason you’re (still?) unemployed in 2017 is you have not learned how to network effectively. This highlights the importance of making contacts, reconnecting with fellow professionals, colleagues, friends, family and people who are well-connected. Here’s my advice for setting up a networking or informational meeting:
The easiest way to request a meeting is to send an email saying something like this:
I do hope this finds you doing well! I’m writing to you because I’m exploring new career options at this time, having recently left my position with XXXXX. I’d be honored if I could sit down with you for a quick meeting, at your convenience, to get your advice and insights on what you see currently going on in the job market and perhaps give me some advice on my strategy. I’m thinking of a 15-20 minute meeting – Can you please let me know what would be a good day and time for you?
Thanks so much for your time and consideration.
- Never tell people you’re looking for a job; tell them you’re exploring career options (less pressure on them)
- Never use the word help, replace it with advice. Not everyone likes to help, but everyone loves giving advice! A good example of this strategy is, when my daughter calls me from Cincinnati and says “Dad, I need your help”, I say “How much?”. But if she calls and says “Dad, I need your advice”, I say “Absolutely, and listen intently”.
- You’re not utilizing social media
It has been said that if you don’t have a robust and complete LinkedIn profile, you are irrelevant. 87% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn exclusively. If you have a Facebook page, make sure it reflects nothing your mother wouldn’t approve of. Using Twitter and Instagram can also be effective.
Work with a certified career coach. A reputable career coach should partner with you, hands-on from day one, until you’re successful in finding the right fit, (not just a job), or making a career change. Working with a certified career coach will help immensely. She/he should be your confidante, advocate and mentor, meeting at least weekly until successful.
Be aware that the job of your dreams will not happen overnight. A successful career transition means to work steadily and patiently towards what you want to achieve making the most of every situation on the way and taking a lesson from every experience, be it positive or negative.
Tom is the founder, President and CEO of Lifocus Inc., established in 1995, and Managing Partner of OI Global Partners in Warwick, RI a local career and job coaching firm with Global resources. firstname.lastname@example.org – O 401.884.7959 – C 401.835.1967 LinkedIn • Twitter
► Career Transitions: Taking the Next Step. Certified ICCI career coaching/executive coaching & development.
► Exploring Career Options: What should I do? Finding work that’s worth it. Assessments to help identify skills and competencies.
► Personal Branding & Online Identity Management: Differentiating yourself in the marketplace, leveraging social media. Hands-on assistance with building a powerful LinkedIn profile.
► Job Searching in a Competitive Market: Resumes, Cover Letters, Networking, Finding Jobs & Interviewing. Perfecting the art of salary negotiation.
► Overcoming Barriers to Your Career Goals: Stress Reduction, Self Esteem, Anxiety, Depression.
Here are a few additional National and local resources:
- Career Tools & Services
- Dislocated Workers: Rapid Response
- State Dislocated Worker Coordinators
- State Unemployment Benefits Offices
- Trade Act Programs: Workers