Career management coach and author Jane Jackson shares an excerpt from her book Navigating Career Crossroads to provide encouragement and new ideas for all mature age job seekers who may be at a loss as to how to secure their next role. Here’s a section from Explore Job Search Strategies that Work.
A little while ago, I heard a woman describing her plight on talkback radio.
She contacted the presenter on air, feeling desperate about her job search situation. Her role was made redundant at the beginning of the year and she’d been applying for about five jobs a day online for the last five months. In that time she’d only had three interviews, none of which progressed.
Amanda’s fifty-five years old, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma of Education, has extensive experience in facilities and office management and although she was applying for similar roles, and also lesser roles, she was getting nowhere. She sounded at the end of her tether and my heart went out to her.
The presenter then asked her if she thought it was because of her age and she said that it probably was. That was when I was prompted to call the radio station to offer my assistance to her, gratis, as she needed guidance and a reality check on how to look for a job, regardless of her age.
We set up an in-depth consultation, which included a reality check, review of her resume and job search strategies. She was so grateful to have someone to point her in the right direction.
During our discussions I discovered that all she had been doing was logging on to the online job boards to apply for jobs.
As we spoke, a light bulb switched on as she realised she wasn’t supposed to stay behind the computer looking at online job boards all day every day. While online job boards have their place, by focusing solely on them, she was missing out on a range of other job search strategies. In fact, there were six methods she could consider:
1. Using online job boards
2. Working with recruiters
4. Approaching employers directly
She decided to expand her job search activities to include networking and leveraging her network to gain introductions to decision makers in the companies she really wanted to work in. Within 2 months she secured a new role through one of her new network connections. I was delighted when she told me, ‘I thought my only way of getting a job was by applying to advertised roles. Just one introduction to the right person set a chain of events that have led to this new job that I would never have known about otherwise!’
Jane Jackson is a career management coach and author of Navigating Career Crossroads. Her book takes you through the seven essential steps for success when looking for a job. Visit janejacksoncoach.com.