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Samantha Greenfield

Seven sins of job hunting

Deadly Sin No. 1

Staying overly attached to your present or previous job.

Most job searches never truly begin until you've grieved and let go of the past. To seem confident and convincing to prospective employers, you must embrace change and your future. How do you let go? Confront the anger, pain, and disappointment directly.

Deadly Sin No. 2

Declining job-hunting support services offered to you.

Take advantage of every professional and community resource available to you and ask for help when you hit a dead end. Job hunting in today's market place is very challenging and you need every advantage. The Winchester Workforce Center has super support staff to assist in any aspect of your job search.

Deadly Sin No. 3

Not clearly defining your skills, interests, and strengths before beginning a job search.

Before contacting employers, know what you're marketing and to whom. To determine your direction, thoroughly assess your skill set and accomplishments, and market yourself to the kind of organization and position that can best utilize your assets. Most job hunters who have been out of work for an extended period of time have assessed their skills and interests.

Deadly Sin No. 4

Failing to carefully investigate the job market in your field.

Career management is your responsibility, so be sure to stay abreast of the hot issues and trends in your profession and industry. Select at least one professional organization to belong to and actively join a committee or a project so you can network with your peers. An easy way to accomplish this is by checking out www.linkedin.com and joining groups and organizations online.

Deadly Sin No. 5

Ignoring time management tools/strategies that can speed your search.

Job hunting demands managing an abundance of information, leads, and contacts. Staying organized is key to your success. Set up a home office. If you are not computer literate, take a class or hire a tutor. All professional jobs currently or will demand computer literacy, so get your skills up to speed while you have the time. If you are not computer literate, take a class (most libraries have free or low cost computer classes).

Deadly Sin No. 6

Procrastinating on critical job search tasks.

If procrastination is a problem for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What goal/task am I avoiding?

  • Why is this goal important?

  • Why am I stuck?

  • Do I need new skills or self-confidence or time?

  • Am I committed to this goal?

If you're really stuck, brainstorm with a friend or job placement counselor and identify some solutions.

Deadly Sin No. 7

Prematurely ruling out potential job possibilities before you've fully explored them.

Many job seekers miss great opportunities because they aren't flexible enough to think creatively about them. Even if you're unclear about whether you want this particular job, present your best self in the interview because you may discover a related job at that company or the interviewer may be able to connect you to a colleague at another company that has the perfect job - this kind of thing happens all the time!

You're Invited!

The Networking Job Club will feature guest speaker Margie Heiler, career coach from Assessments For You (www.assessmentsforyou.com) on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 a.m. at the Virginia Employment Commission. I hope you will join us for this free informative session.

Thank you!


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