Job-Search Analysis: Learn How to Job-Search like a Professional!


 This week, I presented a webinar for business professionals on "How to Access the Hidden Job market." Within a few minutes of the presentation, I realized that there was a high level of frustration and discouragement with job search. So, I decided to take this webinar back to it's roots. I offered to do a live demonstration of a Job-Search Analysis and open the job search process to the group. 
Two of the webinar attendees volunteered to get their free analysis during the webinar. They also received a follow up summary of the analysis and a debriefing session from me. I set out to uncover, why they weren't having success with their current job-search.  They were feeling frustrated, discouraged and unsure of how to proceed.  

 Job Search Analysis.
I've developed a process to help job-seekers who feel stuck become unstuck and move forward. Over the past 10 years of career coaching, I've used my system with thousands of job seekers and have had great results. I analyze any skills gaps and any emotional blocks/baggage from their current or last job. Additionally, I check their level of family and social support during the search. I provide training for the skills gap and use my counseling skills to deal with the emotional blocks. 

Below are some of the questions I asked.
Note: before you open up questions, ensure you're prepared to deal with any unexpected disclosures. My colleagues tell me that I am able to "ask tough questions without offending people." It's one of my strengths and is probably due to my training as a professional counselor. Although, a session
may be about job-search, clients frequently share other life and personal issues in groups discussion. Luckily, my training and experience as a counselor has helped me navigate this.
  1. How long do you spend job-searching every week?
  2. Do you job search every week? If not, how many weeks between job search tasks? 
  3. What methods do you use? How do you know these are the best methods? 
  4. Tell me about your employer research?  Why do you use these channels?
  5. Tell me your career goal: by industry, sector, function and job title.
  6. How do you feel about your job search overall, about specific parts of it?
  7. How does your family, friends, spouse feel? Do they offer feedback?
  8. What other pressures are in your life?
  9. What other factors do I need to know about?
Here's what I uncovered:
Average of 1-1.5 hours a week on their job search.  
Primary job search activity is  looking for jobs on job boards.  

(Skills gap) 
§  They were unable to specify or explain their career goal. They were unclear about 
what constitutes an industry, sector, function and a job. Goals: “finance” and “operations.” They had changed their minds about what their goals were at least 2 or 3 times in the past 4 months of their job search.
§  They had heard about ‘transferable skills’ but weren't sure how this related to their job search or job targets. They thought that transferable skills would open the door to any job! IE: the transferable skill of 'teamwork' could land them a job as a financial consultant!
§ Very basic skills for conducting industry and employer research online. Unable to identify 3 online or print sources or tools for conducting research
(Emotional fortitude)
§ They presented as "discouraged and lacking energy or enthusiasm."  Interviews are all about confidence and energy and this was a missing element.
§ They were comparing themselves to successful friends who had founds jobs quickly.
§ They  appeared burnt out, although they hadn't really launched a full-out, search.
§ The confusion about career direction had set back their job search by a minimum of 3-5 months. So, they were both starting from scratch.

(Social Support & Other issues)
As an Adlerian Psychologist, I come from a holistic paradigm which seeks to understand the individual, before providing support or advice. The family, culture, setting are paramount to understanding a person's unique perspective.

In this case, both job-seekers felt intense pressure by family to 'hurry up' and find a job and contribute financially. 

One of the job seekers had an international background with different cultural norms than the dominant North American culture. There was a gender norm of the 'male as the sole breadwinner.' Also, there was an expectation to keep feelings, worries and other concerns internal and not to express them.  In his culture, decisions were made collectively by the family unit. So he couldn't just make a career decision based on what suited him personally. He needed to take into account his family. Also, due to the traditional nature of his cultural background, it was considered unacceptable for women to work. So, there was no chance that his extended family would permit his wife to work and earn.

The other job-seeker  who was North American, felt daily pressure to 'take any job' even jobs which were below his normal skill or salary.  This didn't seem to be due to any financial issues, but overall pressure in his social groups, among successful friends and in general family expectations.

Next week, I'll share my recommendations for these 2 job seekers. Learn how you can expedite your search by using the best practices in the field, best tools and proper coaching to build up the candidates to job-search and interview readiness!
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© 2015 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon Cohen, MA,CPRP. Business Career Coach & Social Media Strategist.  Virtual Career Coaching: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!



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