Saturday, December 2, 2006

The 10-Step Action Plan to Finding Your Next Job

The 10-Step Action Plan to Finding Your Next Job
by Melanie Winograd

Looking for a job sounds simple, but it can be a daunting task without a guide. Once you devise your plan and use it, keep it handy and ready to reactivate. Research shows that you will be back in the job market several times during your lifetime.

Use these 10 steps to guide you in your job search.

1. Assess career options based on determining your strengths, skills, and passions. This is the perfect time to determine if your goals are up to date and in alignment with what you love to do. Ask yourself questions. What provides meaning in my life? What are my core strengths and purpose? How does work fit into my vision for life?

2. Create a resume that encompasses your work experiences, training, and formal education. Start with an overall statement that describes you as if you were being introduced. Follow with your work experience, most current to your first job, list training classes and formal education. Always be completely truthful in this document.

3. Gather reference letters from former colleagues, mentors, trainers and supervisors. If you are new to the workforce, consider who you know who can create an accurate account of your work habits: for example, a college professor, the leader of a volunteer organization, or the director of the summer camp where you worked as a counselor.

4. Network. Everyone you know is your network. The more people who know you are looking, the more people there are who can ultimately refer you to a hidden job opening.

5. Research companies as potential employers. You read about this in step 4, but it is very important to know what types of companies best fit your requirements. Do you want to gain experience, have the ability to move up, and/or secure medical benefits? Learning more about what options are out there and how they match up against your requirements will ultimately help you through the negotiation state.

6. Search online job sources. Jobs are posted on the major job boards, corporate sites, industry associations, professional organizations, local sites and many, many more places.

7. Attend job fairs and networking events. Dress much as you would for an interview, take copies of your resume, business cards, and be prepared to answer what type of work you are seeking. If you are not sure, review step 1.

8. Practice interviewing. This is a critical skill where you discuss your strengths, perhaps also your weaknesses, your abilities and your related education and work experience. You will need to pose intelligent questions that you craft based on your research of the company, its customers, its services, and what real world problems it is in business to solve.

9. Prepare your interview clothes. Business attire, matching pieces, clean, and pressed will present you as a serious candidate. Polish your shoes, avoid heavy perfumes and colognes, and accessorize with restraint.

10. Send a brief, thoughtful thank you letter after the interview. Pick up a business card from the person who conducts the interview so you can address the letter with the correct name and title. This step alone will make you stand out since it is rarely done, but always appreciated.'s Career Coaches are ready to help you throughout this checklist! Use them to practice your interviews and write a STAND OUT resume. Start your research in our 'Research' section on our FREE Virtual Career Center. GO NOW to


About the Author's online career resources consist of a FREE virtual career education center and an experienced team of certified professionals providing all job level career coaching and résumé services via telephone and online chat messaging. Visit for full access to our virtual career education center.


by Diana Adams

Why do so many people hate their job? I read a survey this week that said that over 50% of people are unhappy with their current career choice. Is that because the majority of us are too lazy to find something we enjoy doing? Or, is it because so many people choose to settle for being comfortable with a "secure" paycheck instead of taking a risk to find a new way of life that might actually be fulfilling?

Corporate America is rapidly changing, have you noticed? Statistics say we will change jobs seven or eight times during our careers, unlike our parents that stayed at the same company for 25 years, collected their retirement, and moved to Florida to live on the beach. These days the corporate climate is much different, and it continues to change. You can no longer depend on your company to keep you employed forever; fourth quarter layoffs are becoming a trend. You can longer depend on your company to provide you with your retirement (what do you have that has been given to you in writing?). I know it is painful to hear, but these days, you have to be responsible for creating your own wealth and your own happiness in your career.

How do you do that? I asked myself that same question several years ago. Do you get a pit in your stomach just thinking about it? Yes, that is why so many of us choose not to think about it and to stay at a job we don't like, where we are not challenged, and where we count on a wing-and-a-prayer to save us.

Okay... there is a bright side to all of this. First of all, let me tell you that there IS a way out. Don't listen to anyone that tells you different. Don't let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. You can achieve anything if you want it bad enough and are willing to pay the price. Anything. I'm not suggesting that you quit your job today if you're unhappy. But, I am saying that if you want to truly be happy with what you spend your time doing during the day, and if you want to finally get paid what you are worth, you have to start taking matters into your own hands, TODAY!

What's the first step? Find your passion. My passion is helping other people. I love that. I live for that. So, I found a way to create my own wealth by doing what I am passionate about. Maybe your passion is music, or writing, or teaching, or cooking, or surfing the Internet... whatever it is, you can find a way to create a cash flow for yourself pertaining to your passion.

You don't know what your passion is? It is time to find it! So many of us walk around during the day in a daze, doing the same routine day in and day out. Start paying attention to the details in your day and your life. Make note of what you really enjoy doing and what your interests are. Ask yourself, "If I won the lottery and never had to work again, what would I do during the day?" It is worth taking some time to figure this out. But don't worry, experts agree, the best investment you can make is in your own personal development.

Once you know what your passion is, finding a way to create dollars will be easier than you think. If it is something you are truly passionate about, you will stay awake at night brainstorming and coming up with creative ideas. You will become hungry for more information and will become a research fanatic. Your spouse will wonder why you are suddenly so happy and smiling all the time.

The reason you will be excited and happy is because now you will have hope again. You will start to enjoy the adventure of life again. You will start to realize your own potential and the logical next step in this thought process will blow your mind... you will actually start to believe that if crafted strategically, you could create your own dream job! The only difference between you and the person that owns the company where you work is that the owner actually believed he or she could do it.

I want you to put the blinders on and start brainstorming today. Don't surround yourself with anyone negative or anyone that doesn't support your dreams. Those people can be poison and make you second-guess yourself. Those people are the exact people that will be in the same place five years from now as they are today.

You are not one of those people. You are better than that. Once you start making money, and get educated on what to do with it once you have it, and you watch it grow, you will know that you can conqueror the world. At that point, you will have the option to quit that day job. Just having that option, whether you actually do it or not, is very powerful.

Remember, you only live once. Don't settle for second best and don't sell your soul to your company and make them rich. Instead, find a way to make yourself rich. Having a lot of money is not bad. Get rid of the guilt. It is the greed of money that is bad. You can do a lot of good in the world with the money you will make. People are out there doing it everyday, and you can be one of them! Don't stand on the sidelines and watch. Get in the game; you deserve it!

For more about this author, visit

About the Author
Diana Adams is a Phase 3 Director in Emerald Passport with the Profit Masters Team. She is currently looking for other like-minded individuals interested in Leadership, Marketing and Business Development. For more about this author visit &