A new book by Jay Conrad Levinson & Andrew Neitlich

How to get a new job in 60 days

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Many people are discouraged because the job market is brutal. However, when I coach people about how they are approaching their job search, I find that they lack the proper mindset, strategies, and commitment to action required to succeed.

Therefore, I put them through the following exercise,  and I'd like you to consider it as well. Before I lay out the scenario, please be willing to suspend your disbelief when you read it. Don't just roll your eyes and think to yourself that the exercise is stupid. You'll see why when this blog is done. Here is the scenario:

Imagine that you get a call from an anonymous person. It's the scariest call of your life. The voice on the other end says to you, "I am holding your most loved family members hostage. If you ever want to see them again, you need to get a good job within 60 days. If you don't, you willl never see them again, and I'm going after you next." Then they hang up.

Most people would be clueless in this situation, and panic. Not you.

There are four things you are going to do.

First, you need the right attitude. Too many of us act like the current economy shouldn't be as brutal as it is. But why resist reality? Getting a job in this market feels like pushing a giant boulder up a hill. You have to put 10 units of energy in to maybe see one unit of result. It is gut-wrenching, exhausting, and brutal. Accept it. And then be ready to do what it takes to push that rock up the hill. Most people have given up, and are putting a half-hearted, half-baked effort into finding a job. Not you. You know what it really takes, and you are prepared.

Second, develop messages that communicate your value. Most people don't have a clue about how to really show that they are valuable. There are a couple of templates to do this. One is "I help X to get Y" where X is a target market and Y are the benefits you can provide. For instance, "I help healthcare executives increase productivity in their hospital systems while also improving the quality of patient care." A second is a bit longer, and includes: the problem you solve and for whom, the benefits of your solution, why you are unique, and proof that you actually get results. (Get the book and you'll be invited to some telecalls that go into more depth about creating a strong marketing message).

Third, think like a consultant. Consultants understand how to get out their and get visible in ways that are low cost and high impact. They know how to have referral conversations. They know how to write, speak, and do simple research projects that establish their credibility and expertise. And they know how to create an online social media presence that connects them to key people and continues to establish their credibility. In my own opinion, it is actually easier to set up a consulting business these days than it is to find stable employment, but if you don't want to be a consultant, at least borrow their strategies.

Fourth, touch everyone you know, have known, and should know. Now it is time to talk to people, tell them about the value you can provide, and ask them for introductions. Every day, every hour, you do this. Focus on people who are employed, and who are making things happen in the industry; don't wallow around with other unemployed people.

I'm sorry, but there is no magic bullet here. It takes an attitude with edge, the ability to communicate your value, and continuous struggle to push that rock up the hill.

Oh, and in some ways, the lives of your family really does depend on how you respond to this challenge.

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