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Ready For Your Next Career Step?

Searching for a job requires an approach that is adaptive to changing career conditions. Here are some very valuable areas to consider for your job search. If you're like most successful people, you like to get all your ducks in a row before you begin a project. This approach has probably worked well for you in most areas of your life - after all, you have to study hard and prepare for tests *before* you take them to do well in school; you have to put in the work up-front to prepare for important meetings at work, etc. However, one area where being totally prepared before you begin may not be the best approach is with job searching.

Searching for a job is an imprecise science. It requires an approach that is adaptive to changing conditions. A successful job search strategy requires spending time learning about what companies are looking for, determining how best to present yourself, and continually building connections to foster job leads. I can assist you! Job Search 80/20 Rule Because the job market is dynamic and constantly changing, it would be impossible to ever be totally "prepared" before taking any step in your job search.

At the same time, the sooner you start preparing for any given step in your job search, the easier preparation for that step will be because your efforts to prepare will provide you with feedback about the lay of the land -- i.e. what companies are looking for, how best to present yourself, etc. Therefore, your goal shouldn't be to be 100% prepared: it should be to be 80% prepared because the last 20% is virtually impossible to achieve ahead of time due to changing conditions.

This 80/20 rule is a principle espoused by Colin Powell during his planning of the 1990 Gulf War to liberate Kuwait. There are many similarities between war planning and job search planning. Battles, like job searches, are unpredictable and it is never possible to be 100% prepared for them.

A better approach is to be adaptable and be able to do some of the preparation after you've started because starting gives you an opportunity to get feedback and further refine your strategy based on actual realities of the situation.

How Starting Before You're Ready Improves Your Odds

In the job searching world, many job seekers wait until they're completely ready before they start their job search.

When they're finally completely ready, they post their resume and talk to their friends and business associates to try to find job leads. But unless they're really lucky, they don't find something right away. While your friends and associates would love to help you, most of them won't have an immediate lead for you.

But if you work with a recruiter, you will stay on their radar screen for at least a couple months, that will increase your chances. You can see there's a definite advantage to starting early. You probably even know friends or relatives who've gotten the job they have now because a recruiter remembered they were open to a new position and passed them a great lead.

Starting your job search before you're 100% ready also gives you another advantage: it makes you less desperate. Recruiters and employers, like any consumer, prefer to buy from someone who isn't anxious to sell. Think of a Mercedes dealer versus a used-car dealer. Typically, a Mercedes dealer is more relaxed and laid back because they know they have a great product and they don't have to worry about whether someone will eventually buy it.

Take Action Today If you think you're going to want to start looking for a new position in the near future but you're not completely ready yet, my suggestion is to start anyway! Start talking and let us know you're going to be open to taking a new position in a month or so. If you don't already have your resume updated, I suggest doing so, now!