On the tenth installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, helps us effectively approach getting back into the job search game by sharing five tips that help manage the process a little better. On average, it takes five months to land a position. Don’t give up, and keep pushing through the uncertainty!
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha on Living Corporate. This podcast is for young professionals that need some real deal advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. If you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you are in the right place. I’m your host Latesha Byrd, so let’s get into today’s episode. So today we are talking about getting back in the game. For those that are searching for their next opportunity, I know just how hard and challenging it can be to push through the uncertainty. I often times relate job searching to the dating world. Like, for instance, let’s say you go on a first date, you really hit it off, but he or she has not called you back. So you are sitting there wondering, “What the heck happened?” You know, “We had a good conversation. We have a lot of commonalities.” You know, “We just really hit it off. Good vibes, good connections, all of that,” but you are still uncertain about whether you should hit that person up or do you wait? You know, do you text first? You don’t want to seem too interested, but maybe they’re waiting for you, right? And so–[laughs]–dating is a whole game in itself, but the job search process is so similar to it, and so I know from experience–and also as a career coach and a former recruiter–just how hard it can be to really get back into the game and to get focused and to, you know, push through the unknown, you know? When it comes to searching for a job, you are having to just constantly put yourself out there and talk to different companies and, you know, some of them you may hear back from, some of them you may not, or you may, you know, interview, and you get really great feedback, and then it’s crickets, right? But for some of those that maybe haven’t applied or interviewed or had to search for anything, you know, in a really long time, the question is where do you start and how do you start? What do you need to start? You know, there are so many questions and things that go into it. So I’m here to tell you to, you know, don’t give up. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. Keep working through the uncertainty. Push through it anyways. On average, it takes five months to land a position. I’ve done a lot of research on this, on Forbes and CNN Money and all of those sites. The average amount of time that I’m seeing that it takes to land positions is five months. Now, some of my clients are able to land jobs pretty quickly, you know? In a month or two months, but for some, you know, it takes a little bit longer. And it’s challenging because waiting to hear back from someone who literally has your future in their hands can be so painful, no matter how well you did in that interview, no matter how bomb your resume is, no matter how bomb your career coach is or even how great your network is. When it comes to landing a position with the company, that is something that you simply won’t be able to control. And it likely will take a lot longer than you think to find something, and I’m not saying jumping at the first job offer that you get, but actually finding something worth value, something that is aligned with where you want to be professionally or grow professionally. So I have just a few tips that I wanted to share to help you manage this process a little bit better and to fully get back in the game. #1 – have you tapped into all of your resources? Have you tapped into all of your resources? Take an inventory. Take an inventory of your resources. Often times, we don’t tap into people that we already know, such as family, our friends, college classmates or college professors. What about those professional associations or those organizations that you volunteer with in the community? Your peoples at church. [laughs] Your neighbors. The list goes on here, but sometimes we don’t think about who we already know, ’cause you never know who knows someone else. So let’s say I want to find a job as a management consultant, okay? So my neighbor may not be a management consultant or work for a management consulting firm, but what if his wife’s cousin’s–I don’t know, I’m just–you know, y’all know how that whole wife’s cousin’s baby momma’s hair dresser thing goes, right? [laughs] You just never know who knows someone. And this is a little bit unrelated to the job search, but in terms of a situation that happened to me recently, I was actually tapped for a speaking engagement with a TV or media news company in Virginia, and that connection came from my–this is gonna sound a little tricky, y’all [laughs]–but this came from my father’s ex-wife’s brother’s ex-wife. Right? I didn’t even know that she was watching, you know, what I was doing in my business. We had been connected on social media for, you know, a few years now, and it was one of those things where I said, “Man, you never know–” First of all who’s watching you, and then number two you never know who knows who or who that person is that could be, you know, get you the key to the gate. So think about who you already know, and you’ve gotta tell people. Like, you have to tell people that you are actually seeking employment. Let the pride fall where it may, right? This is about utilizing your social capitol. You’re not using people. You’re not using your friends. You’re not using, you know, those folks in your network, because this means that if–if they’re able to help you land a job, you could probably help them in some way down the line in the future. So let the pride go and use your connections and ask for help. Ask your connections, as well, to match you with other connections. This is specifically related to LinkedIn. If you all have used the LinkedIn job board for your job search–which I highly, highly recommend, and this is why–because LinkedIn is gonna give you a lot more intel than literally any other job search platform out there. So for instance, if I’m looking–and I’m based in Charlotte, y’all. So, you know, big banking center here. So let’s see you’re looking at jobs at Wells Fargo and you find a position at Wells Fargo on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will show you who you are connected with that works at Wells Fargo, or it will show you who you’re connected with that’s connected with someone that works at Wells Fargo. That’s why I freaking love the LinkedIn job board, for those connections solely. I had a client actually a couple weeks ago ask me to connect her with a talent acquisition manager at Credit Karma, which is also here in Charlotte. And she just reached out and said, “Hey, I see you’re connected with…” She named the gentleman’s name and said, you know, “Would you mind facilitating a connection?” And I was like, “What, girl? Heck yes.” I have no problem with doing that. I didn’t even know him. Now we are acquainted. We just happened to be connected on LinkedIn, but what she did is she was looking at particular companies she wanted to target, and I’m believing she looked for folks in talent acquisition or recruiting and was looking for mutual connections and saw that we were connected. So I was able to facilitate that connection. I reached out to him. I said, “Hey, I have a client who is an accounting operations finance executive. She is wanting to get connected for potential opportunities. Do you mind if I connect her to you?” And he responded immediately, like, “Yes, no problem at all.” It is that simple. So #2 – don’t be afraid to make new friends or make new connections. This is normal on LinkedIn. This is what LinkedIn is for. Again, LinkedIn is a social networking platform, so you should be socially networking. Look up recruiters. Look up talent acquisition managers. Look up people that are in positions you would ultimately like and just reach out to ’em. You may or may not hear back. It will, you know, take a lot of courage to reach out to them, you know? To say, “Hey, I’m actually interested in working for your organization,” and, you know, what have you, because that shows a sign of vulnerability, right? When you have to ask someone for help. That’s showing a sign of vulnerability, because that’s a quote-unquote weakness, when you need help. I love, love, love Renee Brown. I love her books. I love her TED talk. I love her Netflix special. I just love everything about her. And she talks about vulnerability, and this is something that I talk to my coaching clients about all of the time. You know, vulnerability is–and the way Renee Brown says it, it’s like getting in front of a crowd with no clothes on. [laughs] Getting in front of a crowd completely naked, and you are not sure how they are going to respond, but in that vulnerability there is a lot of courage, you know? There is a lot of bravery, because you’re pushing through the fear, and you’re doing what it takes anyways without even knowing what type of response it is you’re gonna get back. So you gotta be brave here. #3 – be specific in what you’re looking for. Don’t keep it super broad when you’re searching for opportunities. Like, for instance, if you are looking at marketing positions, get clear on what type of marketing positions, because there’s a whole lot of marketing jobs out there. For example, is it public relations? Is it communications? Is it integrated marketing? Digital media? Et cetera. Quality over quantity is key. If you keep your job search broad or if you are looking for a broad range of roles, because you’re not being specific in the key words you’re utilizing, whoo–you’re gonna be looking at thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs, and that can get really challenging. Well, not challenging, but overwhelming. So be as specific as possible. #4 is get deeper in your craft. Take time to develop more skills. Think about online courses. I love Lynda on LinkedIn. You know, there’s Coursera. There’s Udemy. There are so many, you know, ways that we can continue to get deeper in our craft and expand our knowledge, you know? I am a–I have a Ph.D from YouTube University, [laughs] so I am always, always, always looking up how to do things or how to develop certain skills on YouTube. It takes some time to get deeper in your craft while you are searching. #5 – brand yourself online. You know, as you are networking socially on this social networking site called LinkedIn, you’ve got to make sure you’re branding yourself. That’s gonna bring more attention back to your page. You know, my recommendation is to post three times a week. One of my clients, she is in HR, and she has been posting pretty regularly on LinkedIn, and her tweets–not tweets. Wow, I’m thinking about Twitter. [laughs] I love Twitter, y’all. Follow me. @Latesha_Byrd. But LinkedIn, she posts about three times a week, and some of her LinkedIn posts have gone viral, and through that–through the virality, she gets a lot of attention from recruiters reaching out to her, which is exactly what she wanted. So brand yourself online. You don’t have to post, like, you know, all of these long, thoughtful, deep messages, you know? Just start posting articles related to what’s going on in your industry, posting questions to kind of get folks thinking. You know, post a quote. You know, again, just post regularly. Start to brand yourself online. Set some boundaries with yourself. I promise you you don’t have to spend two hours every single day looking at job boards. Those jobs are not going to grow legs and run away. So if you take a day off from searching for jobs, it is going to be okay. So set some boundaries with yourself. Maybe you only search for jobs three days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Maybe you do 30 minutes in the morning, you do 30 minutes at night. So, you know, don’t go too hard, right? Because that job search fatigue is real and we’ve talked about that before. Get an accountability partner as well, someone that can hold you accountable, to make sure that you are applying to jobs, that you are networking, that you are posting online. Be very specific in the goals that you share with them, and you need someone that is actually really going to hold you accountable and that’s going to encourage you and build you up. The last thing that I want to say here is be patient. Be patient with yourself. I am actually in the process of searching for a home. I’m looking to buy fairly soon, and if you have ever bought a home before, you know just how hard that process could be. And I had a friend that told me, “Delayed is not denied,” you know? So again, just be patient with yourself. Finding your next best thing, it really will take some time, and I want you all to make sure that you are giving yourself some grace in this process and not taking every “no” you get or, you know, the silence, don’t let that get to you and don’t take it personal. You know, sometimes these jobs are filled internally. Another thing is that sometimes jobs are posted as a formality in the process, even though they already know who they are going to hire. They may have to just interview some folks, you know, to show that there was no bias, right? And so just know you never know. You really never know what’s going on on the other side. So give yourself some grace. Be patient with yourself. Know that your job is out there. You have to–you have to–believe. So I hope that these tips helped you all today. Remember to push through the uncertainty. Just get out there. And I am always rooting for your success. I hope that you are able to land your dream job soon. And that is all I have. So I wish you all the best of luck as you are applying. If you enjoyed this topic, if you have any questions at all, if there’s anything you actually want to hear on this podcast, then hit me up. I’m really easy to find – @Latesha_Byrd. L-A-T-E-S-H-A underscore B-Y-R-D. You can find me on Twitter. You can find me on Instagram. LinkedIn, Facebook, all of the things. So thank you guys so much, and I will talk to you next week. Bye.