The job hunt is always, always a daunting prospect. No matter who you are, or what your experience is, it is stressful and anxiety inducing to pursue a new job or career. After 4 years in New York City, I have decided to move back to my hometown of Toronto, and am doing so without a job lined up. With my background and interest in business operations and project management, I am excited to look for Program Management and Chief of staff roles.
As is my way, I've put together a plan that seems worth sharing. With each success and failure, I'll learn and adjust my plan accordingly.
Step 1: Refresh my Chops
After some time out of the workforce, I want to make sure I'm putting my best professional foot forward. I have an archive of self-assessments from years past, so I want to review those to check in on my strengths and weaknesses. Then, it's time for an overhaul of my externally facing professional image. This includes updating my CV and LinkedIn profile, ensuring my contacts on LinkedIn are up to date, and all of the possible references have been added to my profiles. As I build my pitch, I'll capture it all in outreach email templates including some of my unique skills and professional experiences, links to my portfolio or examples of my work, and contact information.
Step 2: Build a List
Once I'm comfortable with my search results, it's time to put my project management skills to good use, and develop an organized plan of "job-attack". This includes researching the Canadian market, exploring successful organizations and industries, and starting to build a list of contacts near and far that can possibly provide me with some guidance on this search. Developing a list of contacts in a new city will be tricky, so I'll want to make sure I'm casting a wide net of possibilities.
Step 3: Coffee, coffee, coffee
Once I've got my list together, it's go time. Each person on the list will require a personalized approach depending on how well connected we are. Some individuals may require a third-person intro (these are best found on LinkedIn), others may just be an awkward cold email. Either way, it's going to be important to provide some details about how we are connected, and why I think the meeting would be valuable. Providing suggested dates and locations will be key, as will ensuring my own flexibility to meet people where they are.
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat
The most important thing about this process will be tenacity and endurance. Finding the right job in a new city is going to take time, and I'm almost certainly not going to get it all the way right the first time around. It may be that my CV doesn't seem to capture the essence of my skills, or the contact net I cast wasn't wide enough. Either way, dusting myself off and staying positive will surely be a key to finding my next opportunity.
In the coming weeks, I'll be updating this process based on the successes and failures of each step. I'll add links and templates based on what I find most valuable.