#6 - No game plan? Unless you're rich, you're in trouble.

This is the last of a six-part series that will highlight 6 things you can do, right now, to make your job search much, much more effective. If you've been struggling with a marginal-at-best job search for a while, it's time. If you're just setting off on your job search path? It's time. 

It can be paralyzing, I know. Especially for job seekers who find themselves out of work suddenly and unexpectedly. But it can be paralyzing for job seekers who are out there on their own volition, too.

Where do you begin?

What do you get up and DO every day when you're a job seeker?

WHAT IS YOUR GAME PLAN?

These are all hard questions, especially if emotions like panic, anger and fear are racing through your body like a horse at the Preakness.

It's no wonder, then, that your brain is not also simultaneously crafting TheWorld’s Greatest Job Search Planwhen you're in this mode.

(More likely, it's feeling a wee bit fuzzy from the six-pack and entire bag of chips you polished off on the couch last night, as you contemplated your current sitch.)

But guess what?

If you have no game plan, you're very likely going to get up each day and squander it on non- or semi-productive search efforts. (Or just sit in your underwear and watch E! and Seinfeld reruns all day.)

It’s totally understandable. For anyone who’s been in that spot where you really, truly want or need to find a new job, or you want a way freaking better job?  You “get” the emotional swirl that typically goes along with it.

Unfortunately, though, pretty much the worst thing you can do as you set out on a job search?

Is to do so without first constructing a plan of attack.

Unless you are rich, and can afford to let this thing drag on and on?

No game plan =  You, in trouble

You need a game plan. You need a game plan. Oh, did I mention...?

You need a flippin' game plan.

Too often, job seekers completely bypass this critical step in the job search process. They rush immediately over to the computer for days -- or weeks, or (heaven help you) months of aimless drifting around online with the hopes of stumbling onto the perfect job posting, networking contact or, hell, maybe even a get-rich-quick opportunity or an enormous money tree. That'd be cool.

An enormous money tree.

Stop it. Please. If you’ve already been conducting a search without a game plan, stop right now, take some deep breaths, limber up, pull on some clean undies and then pull together a plan.

Schedule out your month, your week, and what exactly you are going to do each day.

Your job is now your job search. Treat it as such.

Have a plan. Schedule time for things like

  • "Study how to use LinkedIn for job search"
  • "Research Rochester Ink Company and find two contacts to approach"
  • "Approach those two contacts."
  • "Revise LinkedIn profile to make it clear the types of opportunities I am seeking"
  • "Ask Fred to take my resume to his pal, the VP of Sales, at Johnson Stamp Inc."
  • "Figure out how I can use Facebook to my advantage for job search"
  • "Start developing a blog for my job search efforts"
  • "Start using the LinkedIn status update to my advantage."
  • "Spend no more than one hour on Monster.com"

And so forth.

The point here should be clear:

If you flail around with no plan? The time between now and when you land that sweet new job will probably be at least 4x greater than if you sit down today, and craft one.

End of series.

You ready to go full-on and land the job you truly want and deserve? Then stop flailing, and start planning. I can help you. On April 4, I will launch a new ebook,To Whom it May Concern: Or, How to Stop Sucking at Your Job Search. Consider it your job search BFF, all rolled into one tidy and affordable ebook. It'll walk you step-by-step through the process of calming down, crafting a game plan, and then executing a job search strategy that will actually work in today's crapola economy. If you're interested, be sure and sign up for the To Whom it May Concern mailing list.   I'll be offering all of my subscriber peeps a hearty discount on the goods during a pre-launch, which will go down in just a couple of weeks. See you over there!