Does Your Job Search Have Any “Low-hanging Fruit”?

Human nature seems prone to look for an easy way to do things. That’s called going after the “low-hanging fruit,” which a dictionary defines as “something easily achieved or obtained; the most readily achievable goal.” The bad news is, you can’t reach a successful job search outcome by concentrating on easy goals. The good news is, it’s not a bad starting-point if you understand that you still have hard work ahead. If nothing else, it might get you motivated for the harder steps.

Job Search Low-hanging Fruit to Look For

After you’ve established a tentative goal for your job search campaign, you can evaluate actions you might take that can be done quickly and effectively, using the time and resources you have ready access to. That might include one or all of the following, as well as others:

  • Knowledgeable advocates you’re in current or recent contact with. That is, people who are not only in a position to provide useful advice but also willing to provide that support.
  • Networking opportunities on the near horizon. In other words, events such as an upcoming workshop or conference where you can interact with possible persons-of-influence.
  • Activities that could increase your visibility and credibility with minimal financial investment, such as volunteering in a visible role with a widely respected community organization.
  • A review of your financial reserves and projected expenses over the next several months, which should give an indication of whether you need to make changes and/or an idea of what you have to work with if your job search is protracted.

Picked It All? Then What?

Double-check to make sure you haven’t overlooked an easy action that would help jump-start your job search. However, assuming you’ve already identified and picked all the low-hanging fruit you can find for your job search, what’s next?

If you’re a savvy job seeker, you’ve probably figured out some of the not-so-easy steps to take in your job search. I’ve written blog posts on related topics before, so I’m not going to try to offer a comprehensive list here. You’re looking for actions with a potential for decent payoff that will take more than the minimal effort expended on the low-hanging fruit phase. For example, you might want to:

  • Identify a few promising connections in your LinkedIn network, with whom you’ve maintained a reasonably good relationship (give-and-take, not just take), and consult with them about your plans.
  • Block out some time to explore possible job opportunities that seem in line with what you’re looking for and see if you can arrange an interview–while you’re still employed or (if unemployed) before your situation becomes critical.
  • Sound out your personal network (i.e., friends and family, not necessarily professional contacts) to ensure that they’re “on the same page” with you–ready and willing to support your activities however they can. It’s better to identify and tackle potential problem areas early in your job search planning than after you’re in full-on search mode.
  • Consider canceling or postponing “optional” plans you might have made that could prove unwise if your job search lasts longer than you hope. For example, if you’ve been planning a major purchase, such as a new car or RV, you might need to reconsider that, at least for the time being.

Eye on the Prize

Remember that if something is worth having, it’s worth working for. Low-hanging fruit will only get you so far.

“There will always be things we want in life. Some are just a passing whim, others are real desires or prizes. When you come across one of those prizes, don’t let it slip away. Keep it in focus. Remembering what you want and why, so you can continue to move toward it step by step. That is the essence of keeping your eyes on the prize.” (Source: Greatest Inspirational Quotes)

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