5 Prep Steps for Your Next Job Search


If you live in a tornado-prone area, it’s likely that your family has ample insurance and a preparedness plan. Similarly, corporations allocate significant budget dollars for contingency planning, ensuring their people, technology and facilities are well-primed to shift into immediate recovery mode, if ever the need arises.  Life happens and often when you least expect it.  So, just as you would prepare for severe weather, it’s important to prepare for your next job search.

You may find yourself in search of your next job at a moment’s notice.  It might be your choice to make a change, move up in your company, or re-enter the workforce. There may be forced actions in your company such as layoffs or surplus, shutdowns, directional changes, or even value differences between employee and employer.  No matter the reason, job searches can be overwhelming, especially if you’re caught blindsided.

Starting preparations before the metaphorical clouds start to gather helps to ensure you’re always ready; emotionally and logistically to seize the next opportunity.



Following these 5 Prep-Steps will be well worth the time and energy invested, when you’re facing your next job search. They are also great practices and reminders to engage in positive self-talk while remaining on top of key elements you need to continue growing in your career.


1.   Be ready to tell your story. 

This will prevent the paralysis that often occurs when your search begins.

  • Keep your resume up-to-date.  At least twice a year, schedule an hour to add your most recent accomplishments (with supporting metrics) and skills.

  • Schedule resume inventories six weeks prior to your performance reviews to ensure you and your supervisor account for your most recent accomplishments and areas of growth.  Do this before final rating decisions are made.

  • Update your LinkedIn profile regularly, actively notifying your online network of your latest job assignments and accomplishments.  And, stay active by commenting or sharing posts that align with your interests and passions.

  • Prepare your 60-second elevator pitch so you’re ready to tell your story with a moment’s notice.  As your career changes, adjust your story.  You just never know who you might meet in an elevator!

He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge


2. Know your strengths skills and passions. 

Just like having flashlights, batteries, blankets and clean water in case that tornado hits, consider this knowledge an important tool in your kit that’s ready for use whenever needed.



3. Regularly engage in career conversations.

  • Take time to build genuine relationships with people all around you.  Ask questions and actively listen.  You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn about the art of the possible just by listening to other people’s stories!

  • Here are 4 go-to questions guaranteed to spark great conversations:

  1. Where did you grow up?

  2. How did you get into your job or line of work?

  3. What is one thing you wish you had known when you started your career?

  4. What are your hobbies when you’re not working?

4. Ensure your support network is well established.

  • Be intentional about working with mentors throughout your career.

  • Seek a sponsor willing to champion you and your work.

  • Consider establishing a relationship with a coach; someone who knows your story and will help you navigate your career in good times and bad.



5.   Prepare your mind and heart. 

If you ever find yourself without a job unexpectedly, make up your mind right away that the cards you’ve been dealt are a gift.  To illustrate this point:

  • Think about how you feel and act when you receive a present you love.  You’re likely happy, maybe even overjoyed.  You likely feel good about yourself and the person who gave you the gift.

  • Now compare that to how you might feel and act if you lost something of significant value or were robbed.  You might feel vulnerable or angry.  Negative thoughts could make it near impossible to move forward.

Few people, if any, look forward to losing or searching for a job; However, if it happens to you, you have a choice as to how you will react.  Why not consider it a gift and then align your thoughts and actions accordingly?  In doing so, you’ll likely have the energy you need to get right back out there and begin again!  This LinkedIn post from March 2019 is a great example:

“Blessings come in all forms. Today, after 13 awesome years, my company handed me a blessing to start a new chapter in my life. So excited to start the search NOW! Anyone needing a positive, high-energy marketing, portfolio, program, project manager, call me😄”

How’s that for a great attitude?  Within just a few hours, 35 people had commented with suggestions and opportunities.  With disciplined focus, you could prepare yourself to always be at the ready for the next career opportunity.

At Chapter You, we spend quality time with our clients equipping them with many tools and techniques to ensure they’re ready to build the career they love, regardless of circumstances.

Need help getting ready for your next career opportunity?

We Have A Free Worksheet to Help You Prepare for Your Next Career Move.

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Laynne HollowayComment