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How to Crash - Proof Your Job Search

Think you have the speed, endurance, and know-how to fix what's broken? Bet not. The smartest people in the world are those who can leave their ego at the door, and know when its wise to seek help.

Since crashes are usually preventable, when is it a good time to seek professional assistance?before or after the disaster? Talk to local firehouse or police headquarters and they'll chant the mantra, "Prevention rules." Smarter to avert the fire or crime, rather than fight it later. It costs much more after-the-fact. Same goes for your job search.

• Gain better, faster exposure to opportunity and decision makers by setting a career foundation that's heavy on target marketing.

• Provide personalized solutions to employer needs and you'll free yourself from the arduous process of blasting resumes blindfolded or performing cold-call networking to strangers.

• Architect a master design to get there before you make your move instead of working it out on the fly, and you'll be prepared for any contingency.

Jo Ann Ridge, Vice President of the e-Commerce Group for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc., http://interviewing.com/ a 24-year old international career marketing firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, who recently celebrated her 19th year with the organization says, "Most people don't realize that their career affects every aspect of their lives." She asked one attorney if he ever had a bad day at work and he responded that he's had a "bad day" for the past five months. Yikes.

There are five key reasons why workers won't seek answers sooner and resist outside help. All are threaded with personal pride and paralysis of analysis:

"I took the wrong career path at the beginning, and now I feel stuck"

"I failed to see the writing on the wall, and thought my job role was safe"

"If I make a change now, I'm afraid I'll lose and end up in worse shape"

"I don't have the time to locate the best opportunities that fit me"

"I'm financially leveraged to the hilt, and need a certain salary to keep afloat"

Sound like something you've said recently? If so, you're guaranteeing a job search crash because your lopsided motivations are like a bad virus. It'll rapidly infect the core operating system of your drive to succeed.

"The race to surpass your competition is won at the starting gate not at the finish line. You need to know exactly where you're going, how to get there, and what to do when your win appears to be a long-shot," says Ridge, a horse enthusiast whose office in Louisville, Kentucky is a sprint from Churchill Downs, the premier Thoroughbred racetrack known as the Home of the Kentucky Derby.

The quest to locate a great career is no longer the smooth ride you envision. Lots of bumps and unexpected curves in today's overcrowded job market. Think you can take the reins solo and gallop in the right direction and do so at a pace that reflects your sense of urgency? Get real. That mindset is about as reckless as constantly rebooting your computer every time it freezes. You're not tackling the root cause. Professional intervention rescues your time, your emotional stability, and yeah, your productivity.

Ridge gives her top three career queries to steer your need for professional job search assistance:

• When was the last time you awoke and were excited about going to work?

• When was the last time your career reflected purpose and passion?

• How has the stress of career change negatively altered your personality and your business and personal relationships?

"Finding a job is easy. Landing a great meaningful career is a whole lot harder," Ridge warns. "It's a lot like deciding you want to get your body in shape. You have two choices. You can buy a book or video and get an outcome similar to nailing Jell-O to a wall. Or you can make the smart choice to invest in yourself, bring in some accountability and head to the gym," she adds.

Outsourcing core aspects of your job search is simply brilliant strategy by design. It can be the difference of a job by chance, or a career by choice.

Marta Driesslein, CECC is a management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. http://interviewing.com/

For over 24 years R.L. Stevens & Associates has been the Nation's most successful privately-held firm, specializing in executive career searches generating quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels.


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