Your friends and family want you to get a clue about job seeking and get profitable employment. Your being “out of work” is making them uncomfortable. Yet, they really don’t offer much in the ways of new ideas, help and assistance. Be easy with them—they just don’t know because they haven’t been in your shoes lately.

Job seeking works best when you engage three important talents: your imagination, intuition, and unshakable optimism. (You know—the optimism that keeps you going to networking events and job clubs week after week.) Job seekers make the mistake of thinking it’s all about what they know, or whether they have a key word on the resume. Job seeking is an art—and those who are attuned to the process win more often and win sooner.

Your imagination is required for job seeking because you’ve got to get creative about jobs similar to your number one choice. If you want to be, say, a territory manager in beverage sales, you might imagine what industries might have the same type of position. One such client was able to generate the ideas of food sales, alcoholic beverages, oil, pharmaceuticals, etc. Opening up your mind beyond the industry you know the best allows you to make the easiest career shift—same function, new industry.

Another option: Go beyond your traditional job title. Ask about and research jobs that require the same set of skills. A great site for this is www.mynextmove.org.

Imagination also helps in a networking conversation. As you ask a person about their current work, you might imagine yourself in that role. You might even fantasize about being in that company. Be intensely curious. And, listen for clues. When you hear details that feel right to you, ask enough to figure out what department to approach, what job title to ask about, and what person to contact. In essence, by following clues you are creating your own job leads.

When you approach a company before a need is advertised, you are in a much stronger position. You are not just one of hundreds of applicants. You are a fellow business person with an interest in their company. You will feel more confident, AND if you follow your intuition, you just might call on THE DAY they decide to open up a job. It happens!

Follow the gentle nudges and ideas in your own head—those are called intuitive hunches. Time after time, my clients will say, “I just got the idea to call today,” or “You’ll never believe this coincidence…” Yes, I will, because the Universe is acting in your favor. There is always help, if you just follow the ideas that seem to come from thin air.

You also need unshakable optimism. This means go-power when you face lots of closed doors. There’s always a way to re-frame what you are told. If the job was filled yesterday, there’s a chance that the top candidate might not work out, OR, there’s another vacancy coming up in that department, OR, the HR person liked you so well that she will recommend you for the next vacancy.

You get the point. Keep thinking positively.

Chances are, the job you really wanted, but didn’t get, was not right for you anyway. The next one is around the corner. Just keep looking for the clues.

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