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    Finding A Job: Getting Started

    September 11, 2003

    1. Take A Deep Breath

      In our culture, job hunting is a terribly under-appreciated discipline. No one ever says to their parents, "I want to be a great job hunter when I grow up." Almost all job hunters would rather have the job hunt completed and fading into memory. It's an anxious time. The pressure to produce immediate results is usually extreme.

      There are literally millions of job listings on the Web. The problem you will face on the web is figuring out how to choose to focus your efforts. If you do not get clear on what you are doing, it will lead to a lot of frustration and the feeling of being overwhelmed. You need daily precise, measurable goals.

      Job hunting is a job. The very best tools and skills you can apply to the project are your own curiosity, organization, goal setting and planning. The first items you will have to handle involve serious thought and evaluation.

      So, before you start, take a deep breath. As you work your way through the job hunt, remind yourself to take another. Wander outside and watch the sunrise or sunset. Maintain your perspective.

    2. Find Out What You Want

      The most vexing questions are often the simplest. Having a clear answer to the question "What do you want to do with your life?" is neither easy nor straightforward. Finding an answer involves hard work and some soul searching. Knowing the answer puts you way ahead of the competition.

      The web has a number of resources to help you wrestle with this question. Most notable is the old industry standard "What Color Is Your Parachute". The online version is no substitute for the book itself. Order a copy from Amazon.

      Like most books, some of the information is useful and some of it is bogus. We'd suggest that you pay particular attention to the chapters dealing with Life-Work Planning. They are designed to help you wrestle with questions concerning your goals and aspirations.

      It is very easy to overlook this important step in job hunting. The urge to put out a resume and start getting results can be powerful. But, your ultimate success depends more on goal clarity than it does on immediate action.

    -Carrie Baggs

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