Written by: Jason

March 22, 2014

Planning a trip and looking for a job are more alike than I thought.

Recently, I traveled to Europe and visited three countries over two weeks. I spent months reading reviews, looking at maps, and trying to plan my excursion. I reached out to friends and family who had traveled to the same places in the past. Then, there was the time I spent coordinating and scheduling flights, trains, hotels, and, of course, the tourist sites.

So, on my nine-hour flight back, I started thinking about how all of the planning I did for the trip made it a successful trip, and it reminded me of what typically goes into looking for a new job.

Just like you would with a search for the ideal vacation destination, with the job search, you want to go to the most exciting places you can. You probably start with web searches or reaching out to people who have been there or know someone there. Then comes the social media—you post your ideas and options on Facebook or Twitter to solicit opinions.

But have you thought about reaching out to a recruiter or posting your résumé on a résumé search site? Asking for help from a recruiter who is familiar with the job search process and who knows the ins and outs of finding opportunities in a tough job market can help put you at ease. Before I left for my vacation, I asked a few people who were familiar with the cities I was going to, and it made me feel even more comfortable although I didn’t know the language or the culture. Regardless of whether you are asking a recruiter or friend for his or her opinion on a company, that extra inside information is usually helpful in finding your way and making your decision.

In the end, no matter how much research you do on your own, whether to plan a successful vacation or to structure a successful job search, it really helps to have people along the way to help you out. Of course, a little luck doesn’t hurt either.