Frustrated Career Consultant Needs Help

The secret is out.  We don’t have all the answers.  Career consultants, just like job seekers, have ups and downs and need help and advice.

My question:  Why is it that many job seekers don’t develop a target list?

I’ve encountered people who have been looking for months and still haven’t developed a target list.  They have books, research tools and industry knowledge.  What is standing in the way?  The way I see it, you develop your target industries or companies and locations or other parameters.  You reach out to your friends, colleagues and peers and share this information.  You reach out to the companies directly.  Repeat. Regularly and professionally.  You add companies and take companies away.  You work your list.  So why don’t more people do this?  Any advice for a frustrated career consultant?

Gerriann Fagan
Career Partners International

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  1. Jack Textor's avatar
    Jack Textor
    | Permalink
    I share the same frustration. Generally the first meeting with an individual I can predict how soon they will be re-employed. Similar procrastinations include, not setting up job searches in Simply Hired, not networking, not applying for openings, etc. I spend much of my coaching time following up with individuals encouraging them to get going. The ones that do, find work, the others collect unemployment. Thanks for the topic Gerriann!
  2. Mike Sheppard's avatar
    Mike Sheppard
    | Permalink
    We should not lose sight of the fact that some people who find themselves out of work may have been working for the past 7/10 or more years continuously therefore have not given any thought as to how they should go about finding a new position.
    The strategy of creating a target list of potential employers in my opinion is secondary in peoples’ minds to (1) applying for posted positions and (2) networking. It is true to say that I quite regularly come across individuals who haven’t even considered the idea of creating a list for themselves.
    Also, people do not fully appreciate the amount of competition they face when applying to advertized positions and the fact that many such positions have already been filled and that the organization is just being ‘politically correct’ by going through the motions of advertizing.
    So the bottom line from my perspective is pure lack of thought and knowledge.
  3. Julie McFall's avatar
    Julie McFall
    | Permalink
    I think it’s for the same reasons Sales Execs have call reluctance – Fear of Rejection. They wonder, am I asking too much? How will people respond? Or, even, what exactly do I ask them?

    I try to help career candidates get past the first two outreach efforts to their networking targets, there’s typically a sense of relief at that point that goes something like “Wow, they were so nice and supportive and willing to help!”

    I also encourage putting structure around their networking efforts. It’s really motivating to see the list grow with results. Whether it’s someone who is interested in their search and encourages them to stay in touch, to valuable referrals within the contacts own network.

    Finally, few doubt that networking is key to finding a great next position. Reminding them of this and helping them to stay focused and disciplined so they get closer to celebrating their successes helps too.

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