Executive Careers Blog

It's Not Business; It's Personal


There is a saying, “It’s not personal, just business,” which implies that you can somehow remain removed from the emotion of a business outcome.

However, when thinking about your job search, it is better not to be removed but to be invested very, very emotionally.

Your job search is not business as usual; it’s deeply personal.

Even though you maintain good business etiquette and professionalism, you must care about your job search very, very much.

Your search impacts your career which impacts your financial well-being, your ability to care for loved ones, your emotional health, your physical health, and your spirit.

This isn’t the time for business as usual!

This is the time to push hard – not push hard on other people, but rather to push yourself to work longer on your search, to do detailed research on your job search targets, to follow up persistently, to apply clever and engaging approaches to get people interested in you.

This is the time for shy people to make the extra effort to get out there and meet people.

This is the time for natural networkers to follow-up after the easy introduction and to build a real relationship.

Your Job, Your Life | A CNBC Special Report

If you don’t have a system in place for your job search that ensures you work on it regularly and cover all the phases of a comprehensive search, then you need a system and a schedule now.

If you haven’t updated all elements of your marketing campaign, start today.

If you suspect your interview technique is rusty, get help now before you land the interviews. A thoughtful, proactive job search requires planning, systems, scheduling, and consistent effort on your part.

Yet, despite the business-like methods which characterize a good job search, don’t forget the personal.

Find what makes you unique.

Care deeply and let your passion be apparent to everyone you meet. Be personable and understand the importance rapport. Unemployment is close to 10%. The market is still in turmoil. Business isn’t great, but it’s not about business. It’s about you -- your search, your dreams, your future.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of a career coaching firm for Gen Y professionals. Formerly in corporate recruiting and retained search, Caroline has recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citibank, Disney ABC, Oliver Wyman, Pfizer, and Time Inc. She currently writes career columns for Portfolio.com and Vault.com and teaches Professional Development at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

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