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EP 1219 Most people think a quick burst of activity will land their job.

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That starts off with the mistake many job hunters make that they act as though a quick flurry of activity at the very beginning of their job search and they're going to find work.

The notion that a quick burst of activity is going to help you find a job instantaneously is ridiculous. You heard the phrase, “it's a marathon, not a sprint?” Well, job hunting is very much that way except the way it works is you create a momentum snowball going down a hill.

Dave Ramsey, I think, coined the phrase “debt snowball” in his work in which he talks about paying off your smallest debts first (you always pay minimum is on the other stuff) but you put most of your savings, most of your money into the smaller debts to get rid of them. That starts to create a feeling of momentum that allows you to keep doing it on the larger items and the larger items and the larger items until you are without debt altogether. That's really the way to think of it here.

Think in terms of building up a momentum of activity that's all designed to yield results. I was interviewing someone for my “Job Search Radio” show last night and he's a guy that I coached in his job search. When he reached out to me, he was struggling something fierce. He had nothing going on. As it turned out, this journalist (he was an editor for publication. Written a couple books. Good at what he does. An award-winning guy) couldn’t write a resume save his life with the result being that his resume wasn't landing him any results whatsoever.

We deconstructed his behavior, rewrote his resume, I taught him about tailored resumes and cover letters for each individual role he applies to and then, from there, we started to build up momentum in his search.

Eventually, he got to the point where he got very close on one thing, was going to get brought back on a second and, ultimately, accepted a third thing. There were some other things in the wings as well, but these are the ones that are furthest along and he decided to accept an offer. All these little activity starts to build up and create that snowball effect of the snowball rolling down the hill and collecting snow and getting bigger and bigger and bigger until VOOM! That's what will happen in your search.

Build up the momentum. Build up the snowball. Don't think about the quick flurry of activity. Think in terms of small consistent efforts. It is kind of like making a change. It's not, “I’m suddenly going to lose 50 pounds!” You have to make small behavioral changes that, with time, build that momentum so you lose the weight. Same thing with job search. The small behavioral actions you take, suddenly one that having results that allow you to win the search.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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