‘Tis the season for Christmas carols, mistletoe, eggnog, and of course… Black Friday shopping! I come from a long line of Black Friday shoppers, who more or less treat it like sport. The level of time and effort that goes into prepping for the day that retailers dream about all year can be likened to a professional athlete preparing for a big game.

Through my many, many (maybe too many) years of navigating the crowds, scoping out the best deals and checking items off my Santa Christmas list, I have learned there is truly an art to being a savvy Black Friday Shopper. There are really four main components that have proven to be successful for this infamous non-holiday: 1. Pace Yourself, 2. Have a Strategy, 3. Do your Research, 4. Use your Resources

Not only is this the time of year to be shopping for your nearest and dearest, but it’s typically the time of year when many people start searching for their next career opportunity. This got me thinking… when shopping for a new career, all of these components equally apply.

Pace Yourself

On Black Friday, it’s always embarrassing to watch the people that are dragging by lunch time, and calling it a day. Quitters! Clearly their shopping endurance was lacking. I’m sure you’ve all heard that searching for a job can often times can be a full time job in itself. If you’re fully committed to seeking out a new opportunity, this is very true.

The best advice I can give, is to pace yourself. It can be a lengthy process, but if you navigate your job search the right way, and invest the time, energy, and effort on the front end, you will ultimately be that much more confident when you do land that perfect position. You’re be at ease knowing that you reviewed all your options, did your research, and made the best choice for you! This is a big part of your life, don’t rush into it. As an amateur shopaholic I can assure you that impulse purchases are the worst. Don’t make a short-sided, impulsive decision to jump into a new career just because it’s easy and fast – you will likely regret it in the long run.

Have a Strategy

I cannot tell you the number of hours my Mom, sister, cousins, and aunts have invested into creating the proper Black Friday shopping experience. There’s a science that goes into properly executing which stores, at which times, are offering the best deals without missing out on the hot ticket items. The same can be said for your job search.

Before applying for any positions, put some thought into what you want out of your next career. What things do you like or dislike from your last position? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? What type of an industry do you plan on pursuing? What type of company culture and work environment do you work best in? Deciphering this for yourself before you start targeting companies and positions can really help you narrow down your search, and allow you to be more silo’d within that search.

Do Your Research

Leading up to Black Friday, I’m sure your inbox and actual mailbox are flooded with doorbuster announcements, coupons, and various advertisements for all sorts of discounts. Some of these will offer limited discounts at certain times throughout the day, or may extend into the weekend. Researching all of this, to help you create your strategy for Black Friday, is what will help you have the most successful shopping experience and ensure you walk away with those coveted purchases before they sell out.  

Researching for a new job really goes hand-in-hand with creating your job search strategy. Once you have a strategy and an idea of what types of industries, positions, work environments, etc you’re going to target, then you can start to do your research. Research companies within those industries. Research their Glassdoor account to get a pulse on what others have to say about the organization. Research your network to figure out who you can best leverage to assist you with your job search (LinkedIn, or school alumni organizations are often times the best resource for this).

Resources

One of the most successful Black Fridays I can recall was when I was in high school and spent the weekend with my Mom, sister, and some extended family. My sister, cousin and I were all working retail at the time. As we all know, one of the best perks of working retail is the discount, and we definitely took advantage of that! Cha-ching $$!

When looking for a new career, one of the easiest and likely most useful things you can do is lean into your network. Whether it’s a friend, family member, Recruiter, etc – don’t be shy to ask for introductions, or suggestions with your job search, or intel into various companies. Everyone has been on a job search at one point or another, and often times are very generous in helping to make connections. Additionally, outside of just utilizing your network, there are a lot of great sites in most cities that act as a one-stop-shop for many local companies where you can filter by industry, and start reviewing company’s websites, their career pages, etc. (Charlestonworks in Charleston is a great example) Indeed.com and LinkedIn are great resources to search, as well.

For this year’s Black Friday, I’ve already started putting together my agenda, discount codes and schedule for the day. Afterall, I can’t bank on Santa to deliver on my entire list

What are some of your best job search tactics?… Let me know in the comments!

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