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A six step formula for finding employment by Jennifer Ritchie

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A six step formula for finding employment
The education system in South Africa – both secondary and
tertiary provides little guidance or insight into the process
involved in finding suitable employment. Most of us adopt a
scattered and silo based approach – putting together what
is usually a poor quality CV and thinking that a few isolated
applications will result in a response. Once the realization sets
in that this has no result whatsoever, the result is despondency
and de-motivation, which further immobilizes the individual
concerned. Worse still advice offered by friends and family
is of little use in clarifying the right technical approach to
finding a suitable role. Succeeding in the quest for a satisfying
means of making a living requires an integrated and holistic
Herewith six coaching steps to achieve satisfying results:
Step One: Build on Yourself
As with most areas, the initial starting point involves working
on yourself. If you think of it this makes sense, for it is yourself
that you are marketing. For most job seekers, the complete
vacuum experienced after having made a few initial
attempts at applying for a job has resulted in a feeling of
helplessness, fear and dread. It is important to consciously
move out of this mode and to start creating your own career
future. Before you start, re-assess your identity and purpose.
What is important to you? Also critical is work on self-worth
and self- belief. If you cannot believe in your own value add
in a work context, how can a prospective employer or client
be expected to do so? Start by setting some clear goals and
a draft action plan to achieve these.
Step Two: Conduct an Objective Assessment of Your Skills
and Qualifications
Look realistically at your qualifications or training, make a list
of your core technical and behavioural skills, summarize your
experience or consider your lack of it and start contemplating
possible options. Start asking yourself some career related
questions. What do you enjoy doing? Where could you build?
Step Three: Work on Job Market and Bigger Picture
Start realistically analyzing your possible career options.
Study advert s in your field and take note of technical
requirements. Look at gaps and plan or consolidate as
required. Look at a short course or even some voluntary work
on a part time basis which might enhance your skills set and
Step Four: Decide on Options
Having built your awareness, the next step is to match your
skills, likes, and dislikes to possible options. As you do this, it is
likely that more than one formal or entrepeneurial option will
emerge. This is positive as flexibility and back up planning are
both valuable tools in a career context. In an insecure and
fast changing job market, it is advisable to have a Plan A as
well as a Plan B and to work at both of these simultaneously.
Step Five: Prepare Accordingly
The bottom line is that you are marketing yourself, thus
appropriate techniques are required. Commence by
researching and recording contact lists, which might include
recruitment agencies, networks and referrals. Once you have
ascertained who can be proactively contacted by you, set
about drafting suitable career documentation as per your
individual needs .Also remember that you are doing this
both for Plan A as well as Plan B for each will require different
documents. A CV or Professional Profile should highlight your
overview expertise and skills in a Profile Comment.
If you are planning on working for yourself ensure that you
draft a detailed Business Plan. Also have a professionally
drafted service offerings list. It is also necessary to prepare for
potential interviews or meetings.
Step Six: Get out There
Having done some thorough groundwork, you are now
ready to get out there. Finalize your contact options and
start proactively making contact with the right people. Utilize
referrals, network, engage face to face and follow up with
appropriate documentation. Do this in a structured and
systematic way, allocating daily time for this and keeping
note of what was said and done.
Follow through, persist and most importantly believe that you
deserve a wonderful career and that given your focus and
application this is going to happen for you.
A Career Coach, Jennifer Ritchie specializes in ensuring employment solutions and career success.
She can be contacted on 084 511 2258.

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