Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fighting Career Roadblocks

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to discover that the job search is a tough road to travel.  You don't have to get very far into your search before you encounter some serious career roadblocks.  Some of these are out of your control; a lack of jobs available at your level of expertise, for example.  But there are other roadblocks that you can conquer with the proper preparation.  The key is to identify the obstacles before you reach them.

Here are some of the common roadblocks you will encounter:
  • Planning.  Too many job seekers don't have a good idea of what their goals are before they start their search.  It's one thing to know what kind of job you want.  It's a totally different story to know how you want to go about getting it.
  • Skills.  It's not enough to have only one or two career skills in this job market.  Start your job hunt by finding some avenues for continued professional development.  This could be through continuing education courses or, if money is an issue, volunteering to gain experience.
  • Networks.  Finding the right career network contacts can prove difficult.  The thing to remember is quality over quantity.  It's better to have only a handful of reliable contacts than countless references who don't help you.
  • Money.  You might come to a point where you have to choose between a job that pays you more but doesn't completely satisfy your needs, and one that pays less but is more in line with what you want to do.  It's easy to say to pick the job that makes you most happy, but this can be difficult depending on your situation.  Make a conscious effort to decide what is most important to you before you get to this point.
  • Paralysis by analysis.  It's easy to over think when looking for work.  You don't need to completely overhaul your efforts if your first few job applications are not successful.  You should only think about what might be holding you back if you are consistently unsuccessful over a long period (say, a month).

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