Coping Strategies for Job Search: Leverage
You have often heard that it is unwise to “put all of your eggs in one basket.” I guess that would be part of a farmer’s risk management strategy. Or you may have heard someone ask, “what is plan B, in case plan A doesn’t work out?” Or, “what is your exit strategy if everything goes to hell?” Understanding the risks associated with any endeavor and developing a mitigation plan is always a good practice. Knowing that you have covered your risk can be comforting, lowering one’s stress level.
I advise my candidates and coaching/mentoring clients to take a multi-pronged approach to find new employment. Looking for a new job, in the same industry segment, performing the same function is the obvious place to begin. Expanding one’s search into other industry segments and with emerging companies is highly recommended. I also advise my candidates to explore other options such as consulting or taking on short term projects; and to consider starting their own business, including the purchase of a franchise. An important point to consider is that the multiple prong approach is complimentary. In other words, you exercise the same activities in each prong of attack; networking, sending out resumes, talking to prospective business associates, and analyzing opportunities. Another term for this approach is leverage.
Pursuing multiple career paths has benefits one might not expect. The analysis of a franchise opportunity or buying/starting an independent business is stimulating and broadens one’s thinking beyond their comfort zone. It will lead to an expanded network which will reveal other opportunities. Taking on consulting projects keeps one in the game and helps to maintain cash flow. It is an excellent way to stay relevant and to prove one’s value to an employer, often leading to an offer of full time employment. Multiple avenues of attack for the job seeker keeps the search interesting, will generate immediate cash flow, and mitigate stress.
Why You Should Pursue Multiple Search Strategies
- Will make your search more interesting; reduces boredom and anxiety:
- Increases your options, shortens your search time.
- Complimentary activities.
- Not for Profit/Volunteering.
- Giving back improves one’s sense of well being
- Project work or short term .
- Sharpens the saw.
Working with a “Not for Profit,” or doing volunteer work is another consideration. The very nature of giving back to the community is fulfilling for most people. These activities will place you in contact with other philanthropic people, broadening your network and potentially leading to new opportunities.
Pursuing multiple employment strategies is particularly viable for the over 50 job seeker. The world has changed. In all likelihood, the job you just left has been eliminated, outsourced, or filled by a younger, less expensive manager. All industries are restructuring, so your job may not exist at other companies in the same segment. You must adapt to this new environment. You have the benefit of experience and valuable skills. Your goal is to find new opportunities to employ your skills and experience. Coming to grips with this new reality will improve your prospects, shorten your search, and mitigate your stress. A complete but manageable strategy with multiple lines of attack is the answer.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search