Create A Coding Job Hunt Action Plan In 8 Easy Steps

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Let’s face it – job hunting can be stressful, particularly for any individual who is changing fields or reentering the workforce after being out of the field for a few years. You can instantly find yourself overwhelmed as you carefully weed through open coding positions with the masses of other candidates vying for the same position. Worse yet, your search process can quickly begin to feel hopeless as you send countless applications into the online abyss, only to never hear back from hiring managers.

Success Begins With a Focused Plan that Sustains Momentum

It’s ok to feel concerned or anxious about dipping your toes back into the employment pool. However, it is possible to streamline the process, minimizing anxiety and maximizing your results (aka getting hired). Successful job hunting begins with an actionable search plan that breaks down getting a gig into smaller, easy-to-master tasks. Here are eight tips to create a successful action plan that will help you keep your focus all while edging out the competition and landing your next career opportunity.

Outline Big Picture Objectives

Sure, you want a job now, but what are your goals and objectives for the next several months? Don’t just think about them – write them down with specific, measurable details and deadlines. Go beyond the basic “get a job, any job” mentality. Instead, pinpoint factors like industry, title, and even company to develop a clear outline of what’s needed to not only obtain a job but also achieve your long-term goals.

Break Down Your Short-Term Goals

Long-term goals are only the first step towards hiring success. You should also develop a plan for achieving smaller short-term goals that will keep you moving forward to accomplish your big picture objectives within your designated time-frame. Start a brainstorming session to get your creative juices flowing. For example, if your ultimate plan is to work in a specific industry within six months, you’ll need a particular course of action to get there. Taking additional courses, updating your portfolio and online profiles, as well as reaching out to existing contacts in the field are just a few of the short-term goals you may want to consider adding to your action plan.

Use the Buddy System

There’s no way to sugar coat it – rejection, especially job rejection, is the worst. Staying positive and motivated can be extremely difficult when faced with a steady stream of “no, thank you” from potential hiring executives. What’s the best way to endure rejection and remain upbeat when job searching? Find a buddy. Team up with someone who can hold you accountable throughout the entire process, no matter how challenging the search becomes. Choose someone you trust: spouses, peers, family members, coaches, teachers, and friends can all make great accountability partners during your employment hunt. Once you’ve made your choice, give that person the green light to provide you with honest feedback. Having your partner periodically check in on you, offer support, and deliver a healthy dose of tough love can encourage you as you keep searching for the right opportunity.

Build Your Village

Yes, skill sets and years of experience are vital components to any job search. However, who you know is often just as important as what you know. Start building your networking group as soon as possible. Industry events, support groups, training sessions, and even online pages are all great ways to start connecting with peers and executives in your field. Not only will you have direct access to important hiring information, but you’ll also hear and share relevant industry details that can prove extremely useful in interview situations.

Dedicate Enough Time

Many candidates are surprised to learn just how long a job hunt can take. Go into the process recognizing that your search will require a significant amount of time each week and plan accordingly to expedite the process. In short – treat your search like a job until you actually find your next job.

Get (And Keep) Moving

You’ve established both long and short-term goals, found someone to hold you accountable, and recognize it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Now it’s time to take action. Start with your smaller objectives, carefully completing each one as thoroughly as you can. Cross each item off as it’s finished and move on to your next goal. This perpetual cycle of action and accomplishment can help you create momentum to propel you forward in the job search process.

Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

Yes, job hunting can be stressful, challenging, and discouraging. However, as you begin to achieve your goals and gain traction in the process, you’ll find that there’s also much to celebrate. Always take note of your progress and accomplishments, commemorating big milestones along the way. Reward yourself with an activity, a night out, or a fun purchase to acknowledge your achievements. Celebrating both big and small wins can help ease the sting of rejection and keep you motivated as you begin the next item on your goals list.

Always Follow Up

Today’s job market makes it essential for candidates to stand out from the competitive masses in the interview process. After you’ve demonstrated your skills, talents, and people skills, follow up with every hiring manager you’ve met to thank them for their time. It may seem old-fashioned, but a quick note from a candidate can help differentiate you from the swarms of other applicants looking for the same opportunity.

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