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Posted: January 04, 2011

Happy New Year—now get busy!

This is your year to get that job

John Heckers

If you're unemployed, 2011 is your year to remedy that little problem. Here are a few New Year's tips to make sure that you're not caught behind the "8-ball" in the rapidly-approaching hiring season.

1). Don't party on. You have a three month (at most) window to get employed. The holidays are over, and now is the time to get back to work. Don't wait even an extra day!

2). Get help. Especially if you wasted December, you need some help right now. Hire a Career Transition Coach, get to a job support group, visit the Workforce Center, and/or anything else that can get you some expert advice about looking for a job. Don't be filled with foolish pride and think you can do this alone. You can't.

3). Network, network, network. You should be attending every single networking event that is at your level in January, February and March. Don't let your "personal" life interfere with the need to attend networking events. The kids will have another soccer game. But you might not meet that person who can help you get employed anywhere else.

4). Don't cancel appointments. If you cancel a networking appointment, you have really negatively impacted your credibility. Don't cancel! Even if someone offers you an interview at that time, politely indicate that you have another meeting and ask if there is an alternate time to interview. This actually makes you seem in demand, making you more attractive, not less. Of course, if there is absolutely, positively no other time you can be interviewed, you're going to need to take the interview. But this is rare. Most people just unthinkingly cancel the network meeting and take the interview without asking for another time. Big mistake! Besides....what if the interview doesn't work out, but that networking meeting was going to give you a lead to the job of your dreams? Hmmmm?

5). Get organized. There is a free online system that both we and our clients use. It is called "Doorbell ." It takes a bit of looking to find the free version, but it is in the small print under the paid programs, and works pretty well. This will assure that you follow up with your contacts, which is essential. It also will keep all of your vital info in one place.

Also try Evernote. It is only $5 a month, and will organize all of your résumés and notes in one easily accessible place. We have it on all of our computers and phones, and can easily "sync" all of the separate locations so everything is at our fingertips. It could give you vital info in a crucial meeting.

6). Don't count on your résumé. Count on networking, not sending out your résumé 5,000 places. In fact, your résumé, in today's market, is mostly useless. More on that here.

7). Don't think you have "irons in the fire." Do you know what is the foremost killer of motivation for actually finding a job (and delays people more than anything else)? The one term "I've got irons in the fire." No, you don't. Until you actually start all you have are fantasies in in your head that can fall apart, (and probably will). Keep looking until your actual start date...and beyond. We've seen things fall apart for a client or two a week or so into the new job. Don't stop networking, and don't stop taking interviews!

8). Don't think you interview well. You don't. Get people who know what they're doing to help train you to interview - before you blow the most important interview of your life.

9). Don't think you have a great network. If you don't have at least 350 people in your network who will call you back tomorrow, you don't have a network...you have golfing buddies. Get involved with an organization with a ready-made network they're willing to share. Many are free.

10). Focus! Finding a new job is a full time job, and then some. Don't let yourself get distracted. Don't "take time for myself," don't play with the kiddies, don't become everyone's errand runner, and so on.

Nothing will guarantee a job, but these steps will go a very long way to helping you get re-employed in the New Year. May you have a blessed and prosperous 2011.

Join John and up to 40 of your executive colleagues for our big January Structured Networking (info and registration here). We will, once again, be collecting food for Food Bank of the Rockies.

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John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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Readers Respond

Great article, John. I have been helping some friends try to get employed and you really offer some additional, and unique ideas here. I will forward this on to them. Keep up the good work! By Mark Kuta on 2011 01 04

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