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Are You Facing a Lengthy Job Search? Rethink Your Approach

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Summary: Are you unable to secure a job despite your GPA, internship experience, and networking efforts? Learn what you should do in this article.


Question: I graduated a year ago with a solid grade-point average and an abundance of touted internship experience with major firms in various sectors of the financial industry. I got a late start on the job search and have been unable to secure a decent permanent position in the finance world even though I network well. Do you have any advice for this guy on the edge?

Answer: Here is what you should start, stop, and keep on doing.

  • Start … getting feedback. Every time you make a new contact or go on an interview, ask for specific feedback on your approach and presentation. As you close in on a year of job seeking, it is understandable that you are on the edge with frustration. At precisely the time when you need to be your most charming and enthusiastic, the sound of discouragement may seep into conversations. That is why feedback is essential at this stage of the game. Also, start getting support from a select few in your network whose role it is to become your morale boosters, humor generators, and perspective enhancers.
  • Stop … your active job search for three days. Use the time to regroup. For three days stop focusing on the “decent permanent position in the finance world,” and think creatively to generate two additional alternatives. This doesn’t mean that you should give up the pursuit of your ideal job, but it is time for a plan B to take some of the pressure off in the interim until plan A comes through. Although it is almost impossible to appreciate when you are in the thick of a crisis, plan Bs present some of the greatest learning and development opportunities. Call on family, friends, and mentors to help make lemonade out of the lemons. Addressing this gap creatively will give you positive positioning when speaking with potential employers.
  • Keep on … networking. While there is no guarantee, your follow-through on networking is most likely to result in you being at the right place at the right time. Keep in touch with your college’s career services and alumni offices to keep yourself in the loop of information at the least and recruiting contacts at the most. Circle back to all of your internship sponsors and former colleagues. Continue to fill the pipeline with new contacts through professional association gatherings and other events that keep you visible and connected during this dry spell.

See Top 10 Lessons for Landing Your First Job for more information.

Are You Facing a Lengthy Job Search? Rethink Your Approach by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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