9 Reasons Your Job Search Should Not Be DIY

In a tough job market with unemployment hovering at more than 9 percent and nearly five job seekers for every opening, you may wonder if you should seek professional assistance with your job search. On the other hand, you may wonder if it is worth it to pay a career coach to help you.Here are some compelling reasons for obtaining professional assistance with reaching your career goals:1) Objectivity. It’s really difficult to be objective about yourself. Having a professional to use as a sounding board can really help you see your situation objectively so that you can craft solutions to any job search problems that you are facing. Without this objectivity you can come to wrong conclusions about your situation and therefore implement inappropriate strategies. For example, I have had clients assume that the only reason that they are unemployed is because of their age, but when I talk with them I find out that they have been successful in generating interviews from their resumes, but in the interview they give answers that hurt them. In such instances, the issue is not their age, but rather the responses that they give to interview questions. You can’t do anything about your age, but you can do something about your interview skills.2) Options. A skilled career coach can make recommendations of new options to try that you may not have already thought of. For example, a career coach might suggest different venues where you could engage in in-person networking or recommend sites that can help you grow your online network. As the adage goes, two heads are better than one.3) Accountability. If you go it alone with your job search, it is easy to let yourself off the hook, especially when engaging in other activities seems more appealing. After all, a job search is hard work, and you will usually experience rejection before you land that next position. I have heard many stories of people who get involved in home projects such as redoing the basement and don’t spend much time on their job searches. By hiring a career coach you build accountability into the process. That person will keep your feet to the fire. Knowing that you have a once a week appointment with your coach will keep you on task even when you don’t feel like job searching anymore.4) Focus. Another trap that job seekers easily fall into is engaging in job search activities that don’t yield much in terms of results. One great example of this is searching job boards every day for open positions. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 13% of jobs are filled through job boards. Yet so many prospective clients that I speak with spend the majority of their time searching job boards and wonder why they have been unemployed so long. The odds are against them because the job search method that they are relying on is not the most effective. A career coach can help you focus your job search efforts so that you are not spinning your wheels.5) Troubleshooting. If you know that you are not seeing the results that you should from your job search efforts, you may have trouble discerning what exactly the problem is. Without a knowledgeable person to help you with identifying problem areas, you can inadvertently repeat the same mistakes and end up no closer to your goal of landing a new position. A career coach can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and assist you with making progress in those areas. For example, if your resume is not representing you well, a career coach can either rewrite the resume for you or refer you to a professional resume writer.6) Guidance. There may be aspects of the job search process that you have not yet mastered, perhaps because the job search landscape has changed since you last looked for a new position. A savvy career coach can help you get up to speed with relatively new job search tools such as social media and online networking. The world of social media can be bewildering to the newcomer.7) A strategic job search plan. A career coach can help you craft a strategic job search plan that maps out what you need to do on a daily or weekly basis so that your efforts are targeted and effective. Instead of floundering with your job search, you will treat your job search as if you were managing a project for which you are expected to deliver results.8) The results. According to a Wall Street Journal article, individuals who hire a career coach find jobs 15 to 46% faster than those who don’t. And a CNN article states: “Sixty-eight percent of individuals surveyed indicated that they had at least made back their initial investment in coaching in increased earnings from personal salaries or investments, or through increased savings through debt reduction, according to the coaching foundation study, which was conducted by Association Resource Centre and PricewaterhouseCoopers.” In addition, an article in Business Wire quotes a study where executives experienced a 61% increase in job satisfaction as a direct result of executive coaching.9) Expert assistance. You could of course try to do all of the above by yourself, but if you want to avoid the pitfalls that job seekers who are trying to compete in a tough economic job market typically fall into, it pays to engage the services of an expert. Too many job seekers are unemployed for a year or more because they don’t know how to navigate this new, demanding job market.

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