3 Things To Consider Before Starting Your Job Search
Published: Sep 18, 2017 By Leigh Goessl
Starting a job search is a big task to undertake. It is typically time-consuming and, at times, downright overwhelming as you try to figure out where to take your career. Ideally, you want to find the right organizational fit and land the right job where you can succeed and be happy.
Whether you’re fresh out of school, or already established and needing or wanting to make a change, before you put your name out there for consideration, take the time to do some self-evaluation. This way, you can narrow your search and pinpoint the best route to take as you get set to start a new chapter in your life.
1. Where do you want to go with your career?
As you begin your search, take some time to think about what you actually want to do. This means asking yourself lots of questions.
- What are your long and short-term goals?
- Where do you see yourself next year? In five years? Ten?
- Are you looking for civil service, for profit or non-profit type of work?
Additionally, evaluate the skills you already possess and determine if you'll need to add some additional ones to your toolkit. If you've just graduated school, will your degree help you immediately get to work or do you need to find an entry job in an industry to get you to where you want to go? If you're a seasoned expert, are you looking to move up, start on a new career path or just looking for a general change? If it's because you're unhappy in your current situation, ask yourself why.
Finding the answers to these questions will help you identify the best employer fits in your search. As you do your research, read up on the companies behind the job listings and focus your energies on the types of organizations that offer what you're seeking and can help you grow in your career.
2. What type of soft skills do you have?
Actual technical skills and education definitely matters, but employers also care about the soft skills. You don't want to get yourself categorized as a candidate who has the same stuff everyone else does, make yourself stand out. Write out a detailed list of all the soft skills you possess and highlight the ones you excel at. Be sure to think about any attractive attributes you possess and include these on your resumes and applications. Many employers actively seek people with strong soft skills because the other stuff can be taught.
3. What type of company culture appeals to you?
Even if you're desperate to move into a new job, it's seldom a good idea to apply willy-nilly to every position available. You want to find an organization that is a good fit for your personality, philosophy, and talents. Before you send off each resume, ask yourself:
- Are you a good fit for the organizations you are applying to?
- What kind of work schedules are offered?
- Would you prefer the excitement of a startup or the stability of an established company?
- Do you agree with the employer's mission?
- Can you see yourself associated with the organization?
Finding the right fit isn't always easy, but you want to try to find the best match you can, as this increases your chances for success. You don't want to be back searching for a new job next year. Did you know the average job hunter reads six reviews about an organization before forming an opinion about it? Furthermore, 69 percent of job-seekers don't accept an offer from companies who have bad reputations.
Once you figure out what you want to do, what additional skills you can offer to employers and the kind of organizations you want to associate with, you can get focused and find job openings to help you achieve your goals and your dreams.
It all starts with some self-evaluation.