You want to find a job this year, and the good news is that you have more job search tools than ever at your disposal. The bad news, there are so many ways to conduct a search, it can become overwhelming. When your search gets overwhelming we encourage you to break the search down into smaller pieces and streamline the process. What does it mean to streamline the process though, much less break your efforts down into smaller pieces? It looks something like this:
- Understand Your Motivation and What You Want From Your Career
- Be Thoughtful About Your Job Search Strategy
- Use the Proper Tools To Tell Your Story
Let’s unpack these pieces step by step, so you can go find a job..
Understand Your Motivation and What You Want From Your Career
Ask yourself what your motivation is in searching and what it is you want from work? Think about what is most important to you in your career. Is it more responsibility or new challenges? Or are you interested in learning new things?
Take a moment to step back and ask yourself these questions. If your answer is more money, keep challenging yourself to go deeper. If it’s just about the number on your W2 at the end of the year, you may find yourself dissatisfied with your decisions.
Be Thoughtful About Your Job Search Strategy
As you explore your motivations, take time as well to ask yourself whether you are looking for a position that builds on your existing skills or whether you are pursuing your career goals. The former may lead you to a position that is similar, or worse, than the one you have, while the latter offers more possibilities in terms of your search and future opportunities. Then take a moment to also ask yourself what the three to four things are that you want to do or improve upon and then develop a plan to achieve them.
At this stage, it’s also important to assess whether you can achieve your career goals in your current role or organization. It’s always easier to work within a system you know than entering a new one. And so if you are feeling stuck in your current role, or not seeing the career progression that you’d like, consider a lateral move at your current organization that will put you in a position to better your situation over the next three to five years.
If you choose to make a move however, take the time to explore what your skills pay in the field you're interested in entering. While it’s not about money, money will always be a factor, and it’s good to think about where you fit. It may also be that you can fill a niche in another field. This also means that you want to be honest about your skills, both with yourself and with your potential employer. You will be found out, and quickly, if you’re not honest, and this is not how you want to transition to the next stage of your career.
It also helps to understand the ecosystem of where you're applying, how they function day to day, the office culture, whether there is support for the position that you’re interested in. So do your homework and ask questions, and get to know this new space before you get into it.
Also, don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars, just be prepared to re-calibrate if you aren’t getting the offers or opportunities that you are most interested in. This may involve different types of jobs or industries. It may also mean that you consider contractual work that allows you to build new skills in new industries, as well as build upon your personal story and where you hope it will take you.