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10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

Statistically, someone is likely being raped or killed behind one of these windows…

In the last year alone, I’ve applied for over 4000 jobs all over the world. I only got about 14 of them, but the other way to start this piece is by saying I have over a dozen jobs. Have you ever seen that episode of King of the Hill where Boomhauer shows Bobby the secret to picking up women? The more times you apply, the more hits you come up with.

In order to accomplish this, I had to make job searching as efficient as possible. Here are some practical tips for your long-distance job hunt that will help you land that next paying gig:

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1. The Internet Is a Valuable Resource

If you don’t already know the internet is the first place to look for information about a new place, why are you on the internet? Did you hear about it on the TV? Pft…that’s the most unreliable medium on the planet.  The internet, however, is where most employers search for employees.  Between Craigslist, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, you can get a clear picture of what employment opportunities are available anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.

2. Smarten Your Search Result

Although you’re looking for a job in a new city, you’re still the same person; it’s not like you’re moving and picking up an Accounting degree at the same time; you’re relocating, nothing else. Don’t bother with jobs you’re not qualified for – you’ll never make it past their resume filters. It’s not necessary to only search your current job title either; searching by related keywords is a great way to widen your net.

3. When in Rome…

Not everyone uses the internet the same way you do – research companies geographically on Yelp and Google to get a feel for what’s around you. It’s also a good idea to look into places to live. Factor the commute into your decision, but don’t let it be the only deciding factor. Also registering with their local government websites, you’ll have access to search for local municipal employment.

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4. Build Your Social Network

A lot of job opportunities you’ll get are through social media. Friends who respect you will be happy to recommend you for employment. Don’t just stick to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter though – access your entire social network by telling friends, family, and coworkers you’re planning to relocate. People will let you know if they know someone in that area and you may get an introduction or two. These people can help answer any questions you may have about the area.

5. Get a Local Number

It’s always a good idea to have a local number – some employees only hire locally or, at the very least, give preference to local candidates. With services like Google Voice, you can easily obtain a phone number with any area code, so get one with a local number. You’ll get a lot more calls this way. If you can negotiate a job through email, even better.

6. Leave Out Your Address

Don’t include your address on your resume or cover letter. This sounds counter-intuitive, because you want people to know how to contact you. The problem is the same as mentioned above – you want to look local. You can explain all your issues later, but you need to make a good first impression. Once you’ve sold them on you, then you can explain the geographic and scheduling problems.

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7. #Protip FTW

Don’t be afraid or too proud to seek professional help. Temp agencies, employment agencies, and universities have great job search options available. Their people are trained to find jobs and they have resources and contacts to do this much more efficiently than you. It only takes a couple minutes to register with these agencies and you’ll get valuable assistance.

8. Perms Never Looked Good

Temporary work, gigging, contracting, and freelancing are great ways to work. I prefer freelance work because I don’t have a boss, set my own hours and have creative freedom. Even if the lifestyle isn’t for you long-term, it’ll provide some temporary income while you look for another job. Working as a contractor or freelancer means you’ll have to market yourself – be prepared for the extra work.

9. Quit Your Day Job

The reason you’re moving may be for a legitimate reason, but if you’re looking for something different, you may be better off staying put and changing directions. Pursue ways to get paid doing things you love, such as hobbies, or that dream career in entertainment or the media you always wanted. No matter what it is, take a shot at it. The only way you’ll fail is by not trying.

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10. Manage Expectations

I’ve had days where I applied for 10 jobs and got five responses and I’ve had weeks on end where I applied for 100 jobs a day before finally receiving one reply.  Don’t let the numbers trip you; focus on your goals, and don’t be overly cynical.  Whether you sit around waiting or apply for a dozen more jobs won’t change whether or not someone calls you back. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket.

As you can see, applying for work takes work, especially when looking in other places. If you take proper precautions and act like you belong at the table however, you’ll see results sooner rather than later. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged; every great accomplishment takes suffering,

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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