If you are thinking of going back to work after an extended hiatus I have some pleasant news. Despite a sputtering economy, you can absolutely find a good job in less than 45 days. And if you think you are over the hill, don’t sweat it. The following techniques are especially well suited to those over 40 and trying to find work again. Let’s get crack-a-lackin’.
1. Don’t Rely On Social Media
I don’t think there is anyone left on the planet who thinks that sending out resumes is all you have to do in order to land a job these days. The same can be said for announcing to the world via social media that you are looking for work. Sure it’s better than sitting home playing “Call of Duty Black Ops” all day but not by much.
Of course it makes sense to let your friends know you are rejoining the workers of the world. But don’t expect results. This step in and of itself is just not enough.
2. Real Connections – Real People
While making a wide open appeal for a paycheck on Facebook probably isn’t going to be effective, networking using social media to find a job is a killer idea. Just be very mindful about who you contact and how you do so. Before taking any steps, identify the best people to connect with and outline your approach.
Your list doesn’t have to be made up of people who can offer you a job necessarily. But they should be individuals who have experience in the line of work you are trying to break back into. When you approach them, be honest but be of service at the same time. Try to do something for them too. And if you can’t think of people who have experience in your target industry, talk to successful people who are connectors and who know lots of other good people.
Tell them your objective but at the same time tell them you don’t expect them to offer you a gig. Just ask to meet with them either through Skype or over a cup of coffee. During the meeting, use the interview process to uncover opportunities that I’ve spoken about so often. Ask them what they would do if they were you. Then ask them who they would contact if they were you.
True story – I used this exact process to end up in the career I have today. I know this works. Please try it.
Remember, the people you are meeting with don’t owe you anything and they are doing you a favor by giving so freely of their time. Honor that by being open minded to their suggestions and (dare I say it) actually follow through on their ideas. Then, circle back with these kind folks and tell them the outcome of what you did.
3. Settle for Less
You are getting your foot in the door here. This first gig may not be the ultimate career choice but who cares? It’s not permanent necessarily.
In most cases, having any job is better than having no job so be willing to compromise. But I would much rather have a low paying job with potential than a higher paid but dead-end position leading nowhere. Of course, if my situation was serious, I’d rather have a terrible job vs. no job. Depending on where you are on this scale, be willing to put yourself out. Show the world what you are capable of and how hard you are willing to work. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to land better jobs simply by demonstrating these high-quality traits. Believe me, it’s a far better strategy than sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
In summary, here is your game plan:
- Go out on at least 3 interviews a week.
- Follow up on every lead
- Ask each person you meet with the two questions I suggested above.
- Circle back and keep your network informed as to what you’ve done and your progress so far.
- Don’t give up.
Will it take you 45 days? I can’t promise that it will. You might get back to the work force much sooner. If you are going back to work it means you’ve got some holes in your career timeline. That means the traditional path that others use to find work are going to be less effective for you. But if you use this plan, stick with it and give it everything you’ve got, you’ll be at work faster than you can say “paycheck”.
Did you ever go back to work after significant time off? How did you score your job? What can you share with us?