Skip to main content

5 Insights on a Successful Job Search from Former Relaunchers

With summer in the rearview mirror and fall rapidly approaching, this is a time when many relaunchers step up their relaunch activities.

A woman sits in the driver seat of a car and adjusts the review mirror

By Mary Beth Barrett-Newman

Mary Beth Barrett-Newman is President of 2nd Career Consulting, after her decades long tenure in the corporate world, she brings her experience, expertise and enthusiasm as she coaches clients on their journey to a new position. Mary Beth is a frequent contributor to the iRelaunch blog and podcast and is a moderator of the the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum on Facebook.

With summer in the rearview mirror and fall rapidly approaching, this is a time when many relaunchers step up their relaunch activities.  And...knowing that hindsight is 20/20, here are some insights that other relaunchers have shared as part a successful job search.

  • Pace yourself – a job search is a marathon, not a sprint
    Rather than starting your search by spending hours applying for jobs on-line and getting few or no results, develop a plan.  Think of your job search as a project you’re managing.  The key is to not only have an overall structure to your plan but to also set realistic and measurable weekly goals, keeping you accountable.  Periodically look and see what activities are producing the best results.  Results, aren’t just interviews and job offers, but also introductions, updated industry information, feedback on how to close any skill gaps, etc. At the end of each week, evaluate your activity.  What did you do this week to move your job search forward?  What do you need to do (differently) next week?
  • A job search is an emotional roller coaster ride
    You just left an interview feeling you knocked it out of the park and really connected with the hiring manager.  Two weeks later you receive a rejection email; or worse, you hear nothing!  The highs and lows of a job search are inevitable, but often take job seekers by surprise.  It’s easy to feel angry or even feel that they took advantage of you.  But if you stick to the Plan developed in #1, you will get other interviews and find a position in a company that’s a “right fit”.  Most job seekers look back and realize that the offer they eventually did receive and accept is a much better opportunity that the ones they lost out on.
  • Networking works….for real!
    A few years ago, a client with a 7 year career break landed a new position.  After she accepted the position, I asked for feedback on her search process.  She shared what I’ve heard from many others. “I wished I’d reached out to my former colleagues earlier in my search.” Her former boss had left the firm where they both worked and was working in the finance dept of a large healthcare system.  It was through this connection that she relaunched her career as a financial analyst. Most people, whether relaunchers or not, find opportunities through networking.  As part of the plan you developed in #1, include weekly networking goals including reaching out to former colleagues. 
  • Do your homework, be overprepared
    Given the wealth of information available, employers expect a lot from today’s job seekers.  Don’t ask questions that you can easily find answers to yourself.  Really look at that job description and be able to discuss bullet by bullet what you’ve done and what you can do to help the employer. Some candidates create a spreadsheet with this data and may even share it with the future employer.  Do the same with your resume.  This is your life; you need to be able to speak succinctly to everything on it.  If there is anything on your resume you don’t clearly remember, don’t include it.  Having ideas on or even outlining a 30/60/90 day plan shows the employer not only how you think but that you are proactive and resourceful.  Put yourself in the employer’s shoes.  Think about their needs, not yours.  Show how you can solve their problems.
  • Follow-up and thank everyone
    Don’t be afraid to follow-up.  This includes not only those involved in the interview process, but also the person who promised an introduction or to pass your resume along to a recruiter.  It shows that you are interested and assertive. 

You can’t thank too many people. Those involved in an in-person interview, phone interviews, people you networked with, etc.  Sending those thank you emails is critical.  And lastly, when you do land a position, send a thank you to everyone who helped you along the way.  This will help strengthen your network relationships for the future.

Don't relaunch alone!

Join our growing relauncher communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For more great guidance on your relaunch and updates on when return to work programs are accepting applications, events for relaunchers and more, be sure to sign up for our Return to Work Report and follow us on social media to stay informed!

Icon community