Tristan encourages us to become proactive job seekers on this episode of the TAP In with Tristan. He illustrates the difference between being a reactive and a proactive job seeker and lays out an actionable strategy you can implement to become one yourself, detailing the substantial benefits to doing so along the way. As always, check the links in the show notes to connect with Tristan!
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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. In this episode, I want to talk about being a proactive job seeker.
Take a moment to think about when and how you typically start to look for a job. Do you wait until something at work upsets you before you start looking? Do you wait until you get the pink slip and are laid off? Do you simply browse and set up alerts on job posting boards? If so, you may be a reactive job seeker. Reactive job seekers typically aren’t clear on the activities, skills, and responsibilities that motivate them or give them energy. Instead, reactive job seekers rely on a predesignated set of opportunities made available to them, and millions of other job seekers. They apply to roles they think they can do or are interesting enough but aren’t clear what they are looking to get out of the position. They consider opportunities because a recruiter, who doesn’t know anything about them, reached out and said they’d be a great fit for the opportunity.
On the flip side, proactive job seekers have taken the time to gain a sense of clarity on what they want from their next role and what motivates them at work. They are not only informed about new opportunities but have direct connections to those opportunities, which keeps them prepared when looking for new roles.
The first thing you need to do to become a proactive job seeker is to understand that the best time to start your job search is day one of your new job, meaning, don’t wait until you know its time to leave to begin figuring out what the next step looks like for you or to start building and tapping into your network.
Take some time to figure out your next-step career goal, what job titles align with that, and what companies you may want to work at. Gaining this clarity allows you to identify and target the correct contacts in your network. It also ensures you can clearly communicate what you’re seeking to those contacts so they can figure out exactly how to help you.
I suggest setting up Google alerts for the companies where you want to work to learn more about them. This gives you topics to discuss with new contacts and during interviews. You can even set up alerts with the particular job title to be aware of positions that open and the work people in those positions are doing if it’s mentioned anywhere on the internet.
Work on developing an organic relationship with people who work in those companies by attending events, joining organizations, and connecting with people on social media. It’s always best to establish these relationships long before you need them and then set reminders to check in periodically to maintain the relationship. Doing this makes your contact less likely to feel used and more likely to help you when the time comes to ask for a contact or referral.
The moral of the story is reactive job seekers only respond to what’s happening around them while a proactive job seeker takes control in their job search to make thing happen. Taking these steps will not only save you some time and frustration, but it can help give you an edge in highly competitive job markets.
This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.