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A Man A Plan A Canal Panama

No matter in which direction you read it, your job search needs a plan

Talk to any business consultant (of any stripe) or to any successful business person and almost invariably they will admit to having a detailed, workable business plan. Many, in fact, will owe their success to their plans.

Given that background, doesn’t it make sense for your job search to have a plan as well? Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat observed that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Or will it?

How can you make a plan when you don’t know what's out there?

You’ll get no argument from this corner that today’s job search landscape doesn’t resemble much reality, or what most older job seekers would recognize as any semblance of reality. All the more reason to need a plan.

Most business planning starts from the 50,000-foot vantage point and works on down to ground level. Once you know precisely where you want to end, it will make it that much easier to devise the necessary steps to get you there. Why would a job search be any different?

One key for the older job seeker is to not be desperate – or at least appear to be desperate. The savvy HR person can smell fear and desperation as well as any hound dog.

The job that you really want is most probably out there. Your challenge is to find it.

One approach is to start with your target companies and expand concentrically from there until you discover your ideal. Networking works the same way. Start with people you know well – be they friends, former colleagues, vendors, etc. Your conversations with them will reveal other persons to whom you should know and/or contact.

Another consideration is cement. Once you’ve developed your plan, that doesn’t mean that you can’t alter it in any way. A good plan is flexible as it is necessary.

Of course, as with anything else, there are pitfalls. While putting together a viable job-search plan may seem a daunting task, the real effort involves working your plan. As with a business plan, the worse thing – possibly even worse than not having a plan at all – is to expend the effort to create your plan and then to put in a drawer and never look at it again.

That approach helps no one.


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