The Value of Being Proactive

 A former manager of mine once told me that there are three types of people in the world:

  1. Those who MAKE things happen
  2. Those who LET things happen
  3. And those who ask, WHAT HAPPENED?

The point here is that those who tend to experience the most success in life are proactive. They happen to things rather than waiting around or not paying attention.

For job seekers, it is strongly advised to have a proper sense of urgency to help land a good position in the shortest amount of time. Certainly there are exceptions where something better may fall in someone’s lap, but even that usually is the by-product of making good relationships in life. 

I often meet people who want something different, but they’re not doing much of anything about it. They’re wishing, waiting, and hoping, but not doing.

Searching online for ads that interest you and then applying to them is not proactive; it is reactive. It is easy to do, but statistically it has a low success rate.

Instead of relying on job ads, here are 3 proactive strategies I would recommend to help you be more successful with your search.

  1. Interact with your existing network– Most jobs are unadvertised, so you have to hear about them by word of mouth. Therefore networking with others is a must. Employment is a team sport, so you must let others know that you’re looking to increase your chances of success.
  2. Continue adding to your network-In order to better uncover new opportunities, you must get out and meet new people, too. It is more likely that your next job will come from someone you meet at a church picnic, a kid’s sports event, or a volunteer experience than applying to online ads. But you must be willing to talk with people you don’t know to make these new connections. If you feel stuck in a rut, check out this earlier post on other places to look for work. 
  3. Communicate regularly on social media– Many job seekers are on social media, but they’re not doing much with it.  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others can all be great tools during a job search. But you must be proactive as simply having an account isn’t enough. Social media should not be used as a replacement for face-to-face contact, but it can be a great way to augment it. Most companies that are hiring these days take an active interest in social media and you should, too.

Being proactive is the first habit listed in Stephen Covey’s classic, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” If you can develop and incorporate this trait into your life, you’ll be well on your way to a new and better career before you know it.

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