Legal Career Resources

How to Start Your Job Search in One Day
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Summary: This article details how to set up a day to jumpstart your next career move.

 

  
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Landing a new job requires more motivational energy than a sullen disappointment with your current job. Though you may know in your heart you could achieve more and be happier elsewhere, and that things have gotten worse where you are at, men and women are likely to tolerate pain so long as pain is tolerable. Nevertheless, don’t let it get that far, but make the first move: take the time to seek out the new job. Take a day off just for this.

This means scheduling a day off from your job, and also clearing your schedule with your family and friends.

8 a.m. Wake up and exercise, this will get you energized for the day. If you don’t exercise, do something light. Then shower and dress as if you were going to work or to an interview. We tend to act the part we are dressed for, so dress for success even when you are working alone. Say a few affirmations in the mirror such as: “I deserve a great job,” or, “I am getting a great job,” and repeat them to yourself over and over, with a tone of sincerity, enthusiasm, and emphasis.

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9 a.m. Sit down in a quiet spot, perhaps in the library, or coffee shop, or in a private office at your home, if you will be undisturbed, and evaluate your past work experiences. Of all the jobs you’ve done, and all the activities you’ve done, which ones came to you the easiest, though others struggled with it? What activities were you on fire for, and look forward to do at work? What sorts of things won the admiration of others, and gave you value as a worker? What do you do best?

Secondly, write down those you admire, those you envy, those you’d like to be like, and study what they do. Imagine yourself doing those things. How does that make you feel?

The purpose of this exercise, which is best done in writing, is to make concrete your desires in a career. Be prepared to surprise yourself. It is never too late to make a radical shift in your line of work, so long as it comports to your values.

10 a.m. Update your résumé. Include the work you’ve done since you last wrote your résumé, and also muscle up the stuff you had before, with specific statistics on what you did for the company, using strong active verbs – not “I was in the office department,” but “I organized the companies database in X hours, saving the company X dollars.”

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. You will have set up a lunch date with a mentor, somebody you trust and who knows you well, who can give you advice and reassurance in the job hunt, who can tell you what to expect and how to get it.

1 p.m. List the ideal companies you’d like to work with. Dare to dream a little, think of what companies you work, and of what you’ve heard about the culture there. After you’ve produced such a list of companies, about ten of them, take time to visit their websites or otherwise gain information about their company values, their agenda, what sorts of profits they are making, what sorts of hiring they are doing.

3 p.m. Consider who knows anything about the companies you want to work for, or the field you want to get into, and strike up a friendly email with them. Tell them how you have been and lightly tip into the direction that you would like to discuss things further with them. You are setting up potential lunch meetings in the future.

4 p.m. Clean up your internet presence. Update LinkedIn, the first place employers will look when researching you, and make sure it is squeaky clean, up to date, and highly professional. Also Google yourself, and discover what is discoverable about yourself. Check your Facebook settings and also anything else that links to you.

5 p.m. Have dinner and relax.

Having such a powerhouse day will set you firmly on the track of getting a new career. No longer will it be an idle day dream. The ball will be rolling. You will have direction and momentum for moving to where you want to me.



 

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