Keeping Your Head in Tampa Bay’s Job-Search Game

by Bob Barry, Career Coach

July 2, 2019

So, you’re in career transition. How do you take control of your job search?

Maybe you willingly left your job due to burn out, you are transitioning out of the military, or you got caught up in a corporate expense-reduction exercise and you were downsized.

The reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is that now you are really in control of your destiny. Actually, you always were, but now there’s no job, boss, or company to disguise that fact. You’re out there on your own.

tampa bay's job-search

So what do you do first? Your choices are vast. Some like to take some badly-needed time off and vacation somewhere. Others, shaken by the reality of needing to find a new income source, will choose to get started finding a new job immediately. The question is, how?


Get Organized

Getting organized and gaining a deeper understanding of how jobs are found these days is a logical first step. Once you understand the basics of a job search: where to find job leads, what is “branding,” what is “networking” all about, how to create a compelling résumé that promotes your true value proposition, and you understand and are comfortable with the interview process, follow-ups, and thank-you notes, you are ready to roll.

I can imagine some of you may be scratching your heads at this point, because you’re not intimately familiar with the list of steps just presented. That’s understandable. The longer it’s been since you had to seek employment, the more you are likely to feel less sure of yourself. That’s the time to seek and ask for help. Even practiced, career-transitioners can benefit from help and guidance from a knowledgeable source.

Find Experts

We live in an age of specialization. We can’t be experts at everything, especially in doing things that have large time gaps in between them. The gaps between career transitions are usually measured in months and years. Rules governing the most effective ways to find employment change. Doesn’t it make sense to go to an expert for help; someone whose job it is to know the latest trends, methods, and techniques involved in finding new employment? Of course, it does!

For some job seekers, those who have been downsized, there is often a corporate package available to them. It’s called outplacement service. These packages are provided, free of charge, to employees who are downsized. Packages vary, but whether the term of the package lasts a month or 6 months, the purpose is to provide tools and a level of expertise to help employees find new employment.

For others, for whom such a package is not available, getting help from a professional career coach is an option. Career coaches have the expertise to help create a strategic, job-search plan and aid in implementation. It’s an effective way to get up to speed quickly and get expert advice to guide your search. However, getting a private career coach costs money and that can be a major obstacle for many who don’t feel they have the money to spend.

Nonprofit Job-Search Resources

There are other options. In some municipalities, there may be nonprofit organizations who will charge only a nominal fee, in exchange for a six-month program, providing a personal career coach, regular workshops and other tools to provide guidance and direction. That is one of the services TampaBay-Job-Links offers in the Tampa Bay area, in Florida.

No Need to Go It Alone

Finally, for those who recognize that they need some help, but for whom none of the previously mentioned options exist, drawing from family and friends is an option. Any trusted advisor – someone you know who has experienced career transition and found light at the end of the tunnel – can help you through the muck and mire of career transition and keep your head in Tampa Bay’s job-search game. These sources of help will usually not charge for services rendered. Service is provided out of friendship and pure compassion.

Then there are some who decide to go it alone. That’s really a sticky wicket. Success will depend on the job seeker alone and their ability to discover the latest tools, methods, and techniques on their own. Their work ethic, persistence, and dogged determination will be the measure of their success, but without some expert help and even some gentle prodding, it can be a long and tedious journey.

So, your early decisions are going to have a bearing on your success and those decisions will definitely impact the timeline you follow. Asking for and receiving help, from any source, will enable you to function more effectively and efficiently and bring you to a victorious finish more quickly.

Key to Success

However, the real key to success is having the understanding that you own this. This is not your advisor’s search. It’s not your career coach’s search. It is your search. Keeping your head in Tampa Bay’s job-search game and knowing that the responsibility of success lies with you, is critical to a timely and positive outcome. Your coach or advisor should never be working harder than you are, at any time in your search.

In various coaching capacities, I’ve worked with well over a hundred job seekers. Some are like sponges and are eager to absorb everything they need to know to execute a successful job search. They readily accept that the task at hand is their responsibility. They accept me as their primary advisor, and they listen and apply the advice provided. They come equipped to each coaching session with pen and paper. They take copious notes, eager to apply relevant suggestions.

There is strong trust in those relationships and a definite feeling of partnership. There is also accountability. That means there is a clear understanding that the battle is theirs to win. The job seeker with the shortest transition, the best new job, and the greatest satisfaction is whoever kept eyes on the prize and made it happen; who treated their job search like a job and worked it diligently. It wasn’t me who got them a new job. They did it! I was simply there to listen, observe, advise, and support. Their heads stayed in Tampa Bay’s job-search game from beginning to end, and they reaped the rewards.


Bob Barry | Career Strategist

Bob has been a career strategist with TampaBay-Job-Links since June 2014. For more information about Bob and our team of Career Strategists, please click HERE.



< Back to list
1211 N. West Shore Boulevard Suite 300 Tampa, Florida 33607 Phone: 813.344.0200