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How to Reach Your Next Job Faster with Fewer Potholes, Roadblocks

Complacency damages your career more than lack of qualifications. The most obvious roadblock you'll encounter on the race to find your next job is usually regrets about skills, education, and professional knowledge. However, be careful that you don't possess an inner smugness that rests on past successes. Complacency will trick you to believe that employers will find you without any effort on your part to find them. You'll be anesthetized to job search urgency by this false sense of security. Overconfidence costs you money and opportunities if you decide to sit back with a Jack Daniel's and idle your time away until the phone rings. It won't.

Job seeker loses $30,000 and top management role while waiting for "right opportunity. Rich Connell, senior consultant for R. L. Stevens & Associates Inc., a leading international career marketing firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, regretted a huge blunder he made during his earlier career adventures. "I lost a high level management position and $30,000 in commissions and bonuses because of job search complacency," said Connell.

After being suddenly downsized, Connell admits several valuable months vanished while he waited for the "right" opportunity to magically appear. He didn't take his search seriously. These tactical errors took him out of the marketplace and off the hiring radar at the critical start of his sales career. Employers didn't know he was available. He missed a great position that was significantly more suitable and provided larger financial reward than the one he settled for because he ran out of leverage. "In retrospect, I should've jumped right back into the market and not wasted all that time. If only I had started my search sooner and gave it more attention. Losing $30,000 and a management fast track was an expensive teacher to learn how to conduct a successful job search," he lamented.

Now wiser and more successful from the experience and lessons learned, Connell from his ninth-floor office overlooking Indianapolis, Indiana strongly encourages job seekers to not postpone a career transition to wait for non-existent "perfect conditions." Don't delay your search any longer, for any reason. Get serious and get on with it, he says.

Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains. We often in hindsight, look so long and so regretfully upon the closed doors that we don't see the one which has opened for us. Use these ten tips to anticipate and plan your next job search move. Your foresight here will convert regrets, disappointments and fears into much needed fuel to strengthen your chances to reach your next career destination faster:

1.Develop a sense of urgency to move fast on opportunities. Measure the value of everything you do against the results you expect.

2.Recognize and exploit cycles and trends in your industry.

3.Update your knowledge continually through coursework, news and blog reading, and active participation in trade association activities.

4.Segment your targeted employers and focus on those who can benefit the most, immediately, from what you are selling.

5.Anticipate how you can differentiate your product (you) from every other similar product (your competition) in the marketplace.

6.Analyze your competition thoroughly through strategic market research; be clear about where you're strong and they're weak.

7.Make a list of all the reasons why an employer should hire you. Translate them into personalized solutions, organize them by priority and memorize.

8.Identify the primary objections to why an employer might not hire you and then develop bulletproof answers to those objections.

9.Refuse to let the fear of rejection hold you back. Don't take rejection personally.

10.Never forget that whatever got you to where you are today is not enough to keep you there.

Hot career advice: Don't let other job seekers gain tactical advantage because your paralysis of analysis or inertia derailed momentum. Anything less than total commitment to excellence becomes acceptance of mediocrity.

Use career campaign foresight to continually deal with and calculate your future. By doing so you'll fast forward to your next career pit stop and avoid most job hunting potholes and roadblocks. Remember: It's not about where you've been. It's about where you're headed. Be alert. Look ahead.

Marta L. Driesslein is a senior management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. (http://www.interviewing.com), a career marketing firm and organization celebrating over 24 years of providing strategic marketing solutions for its clients' career transitioning needs. Email inquiries and comments to publicrelations@rlstevens.com.


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