The Department of Labor estimates that between the ages of 18 and 42 the average person will have 10.8 jobs. Another study broke it down with more detail. On average one will have ~5 jobs from 18-24 (summer employment, campus jobs and internships) and ~6 jobs from your first career job though age 46. That is a search or new assignment every 3.7 years.

In the new economy jobs, or roles within an organization are 2-4 year stepping stones on your path to success.

Therefore the ‘job search process’ itself is a critical skill in the new economy.  This is the first in a series of articles on job search. Lets break it down.

First there are four types of job search:

1. Campus: This search has more warning and more time for preparation than any other search in your career. It is also one of the easiest. You are looking for an entry level position while you spin your education credentials, life experience and skills. If you are reading this from college you have four years to prepare. Problem is, Freshmen take too little action (its soooo far away) and Seniors, by in large, did not use all of their available runway to their benefit. So if you prepare and use your time wisely you have a massive career advantage.

2. Internal Navigation: Here you are in an organization and you want to move up or over. Most people don’t look at this as a search, and that’s wrong.  Roles within your organizations are stepping-stones. You navigate them gaining skills and experience to fulfill you ambitions.

3. Stealth: This is the search were you, ‘wanna get out of here,’ but you don’t want to get caught in the process of searching.

4. Unexpected Disruption of Employment: This one is the toughest by far.  One day you are planning on what you are going to accomplish next week and next month, then a visit in your boss’s office and you leave facing a search. Sometimes you have a little financial cushion to land on, sometimes not. Panic is natural; I’ve been there. There is only one goal of this search, to replace the panic with a process in order to get a role better than the one you just lost.

What is the common characteristic of all searches? Multiple offers. From these offers you want to select ones that aligns to your passion and facilitate your growth.

If jobs, or roles within an organization are stepping-stones, my advice, be good at finding those stepping stones, and step wisely.

Contributor:  Alan J. McMillan, Founder, LearnEarnRetire LLC – From your Learning years, To your Earning years, To Financial and Life FreedomAt a Relatively Early Age. Visit LearEarnRetire to learn more. And be sure to sign-up for Alan’s future blog posts.

PS – Be sure to read Backpack to Briefcase: Steps to a Successful Career for additional tips on advancing your career.

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