Here's what it takes to manage the changes related to your job search, from someone who knows change management.
This a guest post by R.C. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
Change management was a regular part of my work as a production supervisor.
There was always something that involved change — cross-training team members, revising the day's plan because an unexpected rush job came in, pitching in to help another area that experienced a mechanical breakdown, modifying a production process because of inefficiencies that were found, making way for a new machine to be integrated into the system.
One of the challenges in dealing with changes was getting the buy-in from my team. Some did well with it, but others struggled.
I can understand that.
Change can be hard to accept because you don't know what to expect or because you might not have as much choice as you would like in what happens.
I would work with everyone so that they were all on the same page regarding why a change was happening and how we would approach the change. I would also get as much involvement as possible from each person so that they felt like the change just wasn't happening to them, but that they were actively participating in making change, in shaping its final look.
I was thinking about how change management applies to the job search. Especially in today's economy, many job seekers (like me) aren't looking for jobs because they chose that path. The change from being employed to being unemployed was put on us suddenly, usually due to a layoff.
Managing change on your job search
Build Support for Effective Change Management is an interesting article that applies to job seekers as well as managers. Here are some of the main points of the article and how I see them relating to the job search:
1) “Provide as much information as possible, to as many employees as possible, about the business.”
In the case of the job seeker, instead of “employees,” you are providing information to contacts. The more people who know what is happening with you, the more they are able to possibly help you- with a job lead, with proofreading a cover letter, with support, and so on.
2) “Create an urgency around the need to change.”
If you are looking for a job, this is the reality of your situation. If you keep looking back at your old employer and wondering if you could have done anything differently to have avoided the layoff, you will likely be spending a lot of energy on a question that can't be answered completely.
Yes, you need to be realistic about the skills you have and the skills you lack, but how that may have played into your current situation doesn't get you a job.
Instead, focus on the fact that you need to change your current state of unemployment. I'm not saying to make yourself crazy about it, but use that focus to give you the motivation you need to look forward to the possibilities, which is more productive than looking back at what happened with your former employer.
3) “Align all organizational systems to support needed changes.”
With the job seeker, “organizational systems” are the things in your life that are part of finding your next job. Having a good template for your cover letter, résumé, and thank you letters would be part of this.
Another thing that would apply is the preparation for interviewing — preparing answers for the questions that you may be asked, remembering the stories from your employment that will highlight your skills, researching the company, and doing mock interviews.
Having your social media tools in place will also support you in your job search. By that, I mean things like having an updated profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., and cleaning up anything that might look bad (pictures on the Internet that might be embarrassing, tweets that may not be professional).
There are many more “organizational systems,” like having the right clothes for an interview, getting a haircut, etc., but you get the idea.
Don't just let your job search be something that “happens” to you. Maximize your buy-in to the change that is happening in your life and be an active participant in shaping the final product — your new job.
This article is part of the 3rd Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest.