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  • Lori A. Jazvac

Five Things to Do This Summer to Get Ready for Your Job Search

Have you ever heard the saying by Earl Nightingale about job security?

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone.

The driving force of a career must come from the individual.”

Well, Earl was right, especially in these modern, ever-changing times!

Gone is the mindset when the company could provide long-lasting job security and stability for years to come until retirement. A new paradigm has taken precedence where a fundamental attitude shift is required by all jobseekers, especially concerning the redefining of a permanent job.

We are seeing a "gig economy" along with a changing world of work in a competitive labour market where higher expectations are being placed by employers. Second careers, freelance or remote jobs, and portfolio careers along with a multitude of contract and part-time opportunities are becoming more common. Paid internships are on the rise for entry-level graduates.

What does this all mean?

You need to take charge of your own career -- every step of the way -- without settling for less than second best. Job security lies in your own hands.

This means honouring your values and maintaining integrity -- work in a positive, growth-focused, and collaborative environment that respectfully values your expertise and unique skill sets and aligns with your personal goals.

Taking charge of your own career entails being proactive and realizing your unique value. It also involves keeping up to date with the latest labour market trends and career developments, actively networking, and refreshing your brand using a robust strategy.

This summer, if you are thinking about making a career change or seeking a new role that will position your career further, reduce your daily commuting time, or earn more money, here are five things you need to do:

Define your ideal job.

  • Knowing what your dream job looks like will help you to find it. A clear focus is necessary in order to plan and navigate your job search.

  • Take time to define the job title and responsibilities of your perfect job in a vision / mission statement.

  • What do you see yourself doing and what are your key driving motivators?

  • Outline all the possible details of your ideal job. What are the “must have” criteria and the “nice-to-have” criteria?

  • This exercise will prevent you from having a scattered focus – which hinders job search progress, sound decision-making, and ultimately, job satisfaction.

List your preferences for the type of organization you’d like to work for.

  • Detail everything about the organization – type of organization (small start-up, mid-size company or large corporation or non-profit etc.) along with the team, mission and values, philosophy, workplace culture etc.

  • Then create a target list of companies that align with those criteria.

  • Do your research through informational interviews and connect with professionals in those targeted companies, and journal your insights.

Know your unique value and your worth.

  • Conduct salary research (Glass Door, HRDC, to determine how your current salary and benefits package compares to other professionals doing the same job.

  • Identify your ideal salary range as well as your minimum acceptable range -- in case a recruiter needs to know this to position you for a suitable role.

  • Have a wise negotiation strategy concerning salary in place.

  • You will then be prepared to confidently address the topic of salary in the interview and land a rewarding job offer that meets your needs.

  • Be prepared to support your rationale with your added value and solid results-driven career achievements.

Update your resume.

  • You never know when ­your dream job will become available.

  • Never leave the resume customization and update to the last minute. Seize the present moment, and seek support by a trusted career professional.

  • Ensure your resume is ready so you can respond quickly.

  • Realize that many opportunities originate from networks and other avenues apart from online postings.

Develop — and update — your LinkedIn profile.

  • Contrary to myth, LinkedIn doesn’t replace the resume…it complements it.

  • Begin to increase your LinkedIn connections -- set a goal of adding one new contact each day and consistently networking with professionals.

  • Seek out an effective recruiter that aligns with your career goals.

  • Contribute and post relevant and insightful information.

  • Keep updated with the latest career and industry news and developments on LinkedIn -- today's popular social media networking tool.

Visit for guidance with the customization of your branded resume package and job search plan. Ring in the summer on an empowering note!

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