Have you ever had a job search go exactly as planned from start to finish? Seriously? In case my question wasn’t clear, I don’t mean in your dreams but in real life! In fact, if you ever did have that experience, I’d love to hear about it, because I don’t think I’ve ever run into someone who could make that claim truthfully.
Since we recently entered a new year, with what feels like an unusually high level of uncertainty on many fronts, this subject has been on my mind a lot.
No matter how carefully you plan, factors outside your control can turn things upside down in a hurry. As I’ve probably noted before, Scottish poet Robert Burns held a pragmatic view of planning: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley.”
What are some of the job search speed bumps and roadblocks you might encounter? Here’s just a short sample list:
This isn’t meant to suggest that you shouldn’t plan your job search. Far from it! Just be aware that you can’t expect everything to go according to your initial plan.
You can–and should–try to anticipate foreseeable events and put a contingency plan in place as backup in case something you couldn’t foresee crops up. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that extra effort is a waste of time because “what could possibly go wrong?” (You might not like the answer to that question!)
A good, basic job search plan is better than no plan at all. The idea is to develop a plan that’s the best you can come up with, based on available information.
Do your homework regarding the upside and downside possibilities for your job search. If you do it right, you’re not likely to panic and make a bad decision if something disturbing suddenly appears on the horizon.
Be aware, too, that you can overlook or underestimate possible hazards in your job search planning. This suggests that you need to be alert throughout the job search process–definitely reevaluate the situation fairly often, for starters. Complacency can torpedo your job search–it’s not worth the risk.