Friday, August 19, 2011

Finding Balance

I recently read a post on Glass Door's blog called Get to Work on Getting to Work and it got me thinking about how I manage my job-searching time and whether or not I am getting the most out of it.

  • Be Respectfully Visible (but don’t overdo). Though your job search should incorporate a strategic campaign to boost your visibility, be measured versus overenthusiastic in your approach to social media exposure.
  • Quash Content “Hurling.”  Akin to talking someone’s ear off in a conversation, constantly flopping thoughts or links to articles and blog posts into the social stream will just add to the traffic noise. Stay on topic, speak when it’s your turn, listen to others, respond to their needs, and even, be still some of the time. Constant chattering and talking is not a strong career move.
  • Continue Contributing Value If Unemployed. This may mean volunteering your time at a local not-for-profit, joining a professional association in your target industry and becoming active on a committee, taking on consulting or part-time work or freelancing from your home computer. Do something to include on your resume as productive, performance-related activity. Despite unemployment reports, there is no shortage of opportunity to which to contribute your valuable mind. Seek it out. Be open and flexible to options. And some of these will pay. Working for free isn’t your only option.
  • After Investing In The Proper Career Resume and Plan. Schedule chunks of time to implement your plan, and then step away. Get out of the house. Visit your local aquarium; take a walk on a nature trail; plan a movie with your friends; schedule a weekend trip. Do something—anything—unrelated to your job search. 
  • Unplugging Is Vital. Incessantly plugging into the Twitter stream, inviting hundreds of LinkedIn members into your network and posting hourly Facebook updates will only serve to exhaust you … and your readers. I’ve seen reputations, and opportunities, wither as people escaped purely into virtual life instead of producing, contributing and doing. Find a happy medium.
  • All That Said, Maintain a Connection To The Internet (your iPhone or Android is fine when you are out and about), and regularly check your telephone messages. Be available, as they say, for when opportunity knocks.
It's really hard to find internet balance while you're on the job prowl. I mean, isn't the internet where all of the jobs are?? 

Unfortunately, no. Another post by GlassDoor said the following, "According to recent studies, 50% of new hires come from referral, and 25% come from employees' social networks. That means that over 75% of new hires come from networking or a direct recommendation and introduction. If this is true, then it is time for you to put those social (on and off-line) networks to work for you and get yourself out there. 

Bah! Okay. Well as a blogger, twitterer, facebooker, linkedin-er, this is difficult. Why? Well....lots of reasons. 

1. Networking opportunities aren't always free. Conferences, Classes, Professional Development, etc. can often carry a price.

2. If you've just moved to a new place, like me, you may not have your foot in many doors.

3. The internet feels safe - you can create profiles for yourself and say what you want from the comfort of your home (and orange chair). 

However, I think we need to break out of this comfort zone and do what we can to get ourselves out there, bite the bullet on some of those networking prices, introduce yourself, hand out business cards.   

Not only is it a good idea to get out of the house to hike, go to an aquarium, and meet friends - it's also a good idea to get out of the house to do some of that job searching too.