“Good things come to those who wait.”
Sure, that’s a great saying that illustrates the importance of patience in certain situations. However, what that saying does NOT mean is this:
“Good things come to those who do absolutely nothing.”
Patience is certainly a virtue, but not in a vacuum. Ideally, patience is paired with other equally virtuous characteristics to produce favorable results, no matter what you’re doing. And what we’re doing in this particular blog post is talking about your job search.
Your attitude about your job search and your frame of mind during it are ultimately critical to the success of your search. That’s because what you think largely dictates how you act.
And when it comes to your job search, you want to act in a proactive fashion. Let’s start with a definition. Being proactive means “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.”
This is a good definition because it also includes the opposite of being proactive. That would be the “responding to it after it has happened” part. Another way to say that is being reactive.
In a nutshell, this is why being proactive is better than being reactive, especially during your job search:
When you’re proactive, you’re more likely to move from a position of strength. When you’re reactive, you’re more likely to move from a position of weakness.
This is important because when you’re moving from a position of strength, it means you have more options available to you. When you have more options, you increase the chances that you’ll make a good decision and positive things will happen.
On the other hand, when you’re moving from a position of weakness, it means you probably have fewer options available to you. When you have fewer options, you have less flexibility and freedom. As a general rule, when you have less flexibility and freedom, positive things rarely happen.
To put this discussion into more context, below are some examples of being proactive during your job search:
- Writing, re-writing, and editing your resume
- Creating an account with a staffing firm that can help place you in a position
- Searching for job openings online, either on company websites or on job boards
- Applying for openings of interest
- Customizing your cover letter and/or resume to meet the requirements of the position(s) for which you’re applying
- Expanding your network, including through social media sites like LinkedIn
- Attending job fairs in your area or within your chosen field
Even if you already have a job, you can still be proactive. Specifically, you can always be on the lookout for a better job. Looking for a job when you already have one gives you more options. When you look for one when you do NOT have one, your options are limited. That’s because for many people, any job is better than no job.
Don’t work from a position of weakness. Get ahead of the curve and be proactive, not reactive. That can lead to more success not just during your job search, but also in your career.