New Year Resolutions hit an impasse as the reality of current life and responsibilities become apparent? Many women put all aspects of their next job search steps on hold. They feel that they need to wait until the next season, or get through the summer, or the start of the following school year.
The Swing Shift’s Sarah Duenwald urges you to try these 3 things now you can do now to set yourself up for a successful future job search. Use that waiting period as a springboard, accelerating your job search process when it’s time to start actively looking for that next role.
We've heard this over and over again from our clients and cohorts. Many times, they tell us “I’ll just wait until next summer/next fall/next year and then I’ll start looking.”
It's okay to kickstart your job search when you're ready, but in the meantime we want you to use that time to get yourself prepared. Starting from ground zero is hard. Use your time to start on some of the most important aspects of your search - Pitch, Network and Positioning Pro Bono work.
Practice Your Pitch. You are a product. When you talk about what you’re going to want to do next, it's the same as pitching a product or brand, but in this case it's yourself.
Recently I spoke with a woman who has a marketing background and interested in pivoting to the design industry after a five year break. Her pitch looks something like this:
“ I’m looking to learn more about strategic marketing opportunities in the local design industry. I have a background spanning the automotive, consumer products, tech and healthcare industries as a marketing strategist. I want to leverage my experience as an integrated marketing expert to help small to midsize companies tell their brand story in the most effective way. Ask: Do you know anyone in the design industry that I should be connected to?”
Be sure to practice it and customize as needed depending on who you're talking to or what information you are looking to gather.
Network with a Purpose: We hear all the time “but I have no network!” We’re happy to tell you that you do; you simply need to activate it. In person, start being more intentional about your networking/conversations at school and community events. Attend an industry event once a month and start telling people you are starting to network and explore ideas for future career opportunities.
Online, engage and be active on LinkedIn. Comment, Post and Share articles that resonate with you. Connect with people- always include a note when connecting even if it's a brief sentence about why you want to or where you met them. Follow people you are interested in- this isn't connecting technically but you can still see what they're posting and topics they're engaging in so you can get current.
Volunteering/Pro-Bono Work: Being mindful about how you’re spending your time now. Think about your volunteer work as you're providing your expertise and skills to a particular job/project, instead of the mindset of "I'm a Mom helping out with my daughter's activities".
Some examples include; if you’ve arranged a tour at a local company for your child’s Girl Scout troop, talk about it in terms of corporate engagement or social responsibility. Talk about your fundraising work in terms of business development and philanthropy. Are you wrangling volunteers or juggling multiple tasks? Talk about it in terms of program or project management.
These are three simple things you can do while you wait that will position yourself for that future point where you’re ready to get back in the job search game.
Need some support or guidance? The Swing Shift helps women in all stages of the job search, from initial thoughts of getting back to helping you through the entire interview process.