Career Management, A Diet and a Jelly Donut

A few weeks ago I was on a webinar training people to use JibberJobber to orgnize a job search and I came up with (what I think is) a brilliant analagy!

First, let me say that one of the problems with JibberJobber (or any job search organizational tool) is that… well, it is not sexy!  It’s not necessarily fun like some other websites that have flashy pictures or socail stuff so you can see what your friends are up to…

Another problem is that it is not necessarily fun.  Really organizing your job search is kind of like managing your checkbook – seriously, what fun is that?  It should be done, but that doesn’t mean we all do it (I’m guessing less than 10% of my friends do it).

So here’s another problem… but let me throw in the Jelly Donut Analogy… first the analogy:

When you are on a diet, and you are working hard to exercise and eat right, you feel pretty good.  But there comes a time when you are tempted to eat something that is out of bounds…. perhaps you eat one potato chip (not a big deal)… but what if you really mess up and eat that jelly donut?

For some people that is enough to say “well, I blew my diet!  I’ll have to start over next week, or next month, or next season!”  And then they spend the next few days or weeks or months eating crap to make up for what the missed while on the diet.

Ugh.

How does this apply to career management – perhaps you go for a while in a strong job search… you track your job search with JibberJobber or a spreadsheet, you go to network meetings, you make phone calls and followup with people… you are doing all the right things, which is pretty hard to keep up with.

And then you take a break.  In my original analogy in the JibberJobber training I talked about how you don’t have to enter everything about a contact … just add as much as you want, or can, as you go throughout the day, and the information snowballs.  If you don’t add something, NO BIG DEAL – it’s not like the jelly donut that ruins the diet!

If you take a break in career management… you skip a network meeting, for example, IT IS OKAY!  Don’t let that through you off … seriously – even if you miss a few months or a year… it is okay.  I’m not saying you should plan on missing a lot of career management time, but if you do, don’t let it discourage you.

Career Management needs to become a lifestyle, much as eating healthy… if you fall off the horse, get back up… but walking away completely from career management is not an option.

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