There is an incredible amount of stress involved in looking for a job. Not only is there so much uncertainty in today’s economy, but the job market becomes affected and hiring freezes are definitely a sure sign of a dismal outlook. It’s not quite as depressing if you actually have a job, but that feeling of hopelessness and entrapment can really make it difficult to stay motivated. It’s important to have an organized approach to keep yourself from succumbing to negativity. But, what should that approach be?
Job seekers get many different opinions on how to actually conduct their search that it’s hard to know where to start. Advice about which websites to look at, how to write your resume, which social networking sites work best, how to dress, how to interview, how to negotiate salary, which job fairs to attend seem to flood your life when you’re on the hunt. The challenge is to figure out what advice you are going to value and what you are going to leave behind.
This is when mentorship can really make a difference. A good mentor, whether you are a new college graduate, a transitioning military member, a stay-at-home parent returning to work, or someone affected by drawdowns, can offer a lot of really practical advice. Someone who can offer a listening ear, as well as some tried and true advice can be of great assistance.
Most of the main stream advice you will get about job hunting will come from individuals trying to sell you something, a subscription, a service, a product. These are not the people to take advice from. This is not to say that some of these are worthwhile investments, but you should first speak to someone who has already had a positive experience with them.
Picking a mentor doesn’t have to be so difficult. If you think about it, you probably know a lot of people throughout your life who you have looked up to for one reason or another. It could be a teacher you have kept in touch with, a family member who has a similar interest, or a colleague from work. The more of these kinds of people you keep in touch with, the more resources you will have access to.
It’s from these mentors that you can collect advice that will be meaningful for you. Don’t shut anyone out with that voice in your head that says, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” Actually open yourself up and listen to what guidance people are giving you. Be willing to try something you hadn’t thought of, or that you thought would be a waste of time. Oftentimes, the most valuable advice can come from very unexpected places.