Solving Your Job Search Problems

Are you having trouble with your job search?

Perhaps you find it hard to answer interview questions or don’t have an extensive network of contacts.  Rest assured you’re not alone.  When you’re looking for work, it’s common to encounter problems. 

One solution that usually works is writing them down.

When you write down a problem, you take a big step toward solving it. Consider this – historically every successful solution, or invention started out as a few lines of scribble on a piece of paper because someone wanted to solve a problem.  That’s why it makes perfect sense to apply the same methods to solve your job problems.

Here’s a three-step plan to help you do it…

1) Write down the right questions to start with.

Don’t start the ball rolling with uninspiring questions that will kill your motivation before you’ve even begun!  Questions like:

  • “Why can’t I get a job?”
  • “Why won’t anyone give me a chance?”
  • “I don’t have enough network contacts.”

are definitely out.  Ask yourself instead 

  • “How did I get my last job and how can I apply those tactics to finding a new job?”
  • “How did my friends get their current jobs?”
  • “What can I work on that will make people contact me with leads?”

It’s important to ask questions that you can answer on your own. Don’t count on the government, your school, your parents, your family, or anyone else to help you. You become a prisoner of outside forces once you stop taking responsibility for solving your own problems.

But if you ask the right questions, you’re already half way there. With that in mind, write down at least five questions that will help you in your job search.

2) Come up with a list of at least 20 possible answers.

Once you’ve come up with five good questions, circle the one that seems to have the most potential. It will help you get hired more quickly. Let’s say you wrote the following question:

How can I get people to call me with leads on jobs?

Under it, start your list of possible answers. Don’t stop until you have at least 20 answers.

There’s a very good reason it’s not a good idea to stop in the middle of exercises like this. Your mind likes to find ways to distract you.  If you let it, you’ll find yourself doing something other than writing down 20 answers to your question. 

One way to get your mind to behave is to adopt the attitude that your job, and life, depends on what you write down.  It isn’t so very far from the truth!

At this point, don’t worry if half the answers don’t make sense, or are pretty hair brained.  The object is to brainstorm ideas and dig deep into your psyche.  At least one of the answers will make perfect sense.

3) Pick one answer and do something about it today.

Choose an answer from your list that you can work on right away. Perhaps you wrote down that you could do your ACLS renewal so you would be ready to work in emergency health care right away if the opportunity arose.  Do it now.

Set yourself small goals that will help you achieve this. The first might be conducting a search to find a venue close to you, or online, that offers this training. The second is enrolling. The third is attending the course.  Tick each goal off as you do it.

Pick the next feasible solution, and rinse and repeat

These are tried and true ways to solve a problem.  First, they clarify your thoughts.  Second and third – continuous productive action gets results.