Career Strategist and Performance Coach
Matching Talents to Opportunities

You Thought You’d Be a Lifer, But Now You’re a Looker Navigating the Job-search After a Long-term Job

My earlier post, Leaving a Great Company After 10+ Years Is Like Getting a Divorce and Expecting to Find a Fabulous New Partner in a Few Months,” lays out the challenges of landing a new job after an extended career at a “legacy” company. This post features concrete strategies to cope with the challenges facing “lifers” who are experiencing extended job searches with lots of closed doors and repeated rejections.

    Here are steps to land your next job after a successful career of 10 or more years at a great organization:

  1. Manage your expectations. Your transition is going to take longer than you expected. The job-search landscape has totally changed since you last looked. New digital tools allow recruiters to demand the “pink unicorn” – the perfect candidate with a long list of competencies who also fits with the culture of the company. The average search takes three to six months. Yours could take six months or even a year. Longer if you’re pivoting to a new career or industry.
  2. Try NOT thinking your next move must be the “be all and end all of jobs.” Consider it as a “bridge job,” something you can do while you figure out what you’re meant to do next. This removes the pressure and can smooth the process. The easiest job to get is one closely related to what you’ve been doing, which is a hard pill to swallow if you’re burnt out. Check out my blog if you're Ready To Jump Ship?
  3. Consider a sabbatical. This sounds risky and maybe you don’t believe you deserve it but having an adventure can give you new perspective and refill your tank.
  4. Think about landing some contracts in your area of expertise. You can see how other organizations operate, get some much-needed stimulation and make new contacts while you ponder where you want to land.
  5. Try some new leisure activities. Set and accomplish goals so that landing the perfect job isn’t your only definition of success. Run a marathon, hike a fourteener, take up painting. Exercising or learning something new is the best antidote to job-search fatigue.
  6. If you’re pivoting to a new career, create a new story for yourself. Retrain, get certifications in your new field, join professional organizations and volunteer to join the board. Even better, volunteer for a non-profit doing what you hope to do next. Add these new activities to your LinkedIn profile and resume, and remember, you don’t need to reveal the activities in your new career are unpaid.

Most important of all? Have fun and have a life while you search. Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a life. Ward off isolation. Get out of the house and surround yourself with people who know you and love you.

Tags: jobsearch, networking, jobsearchfatique,

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