So often, I have people that are looking for a new job, network with me but they can’t tell me what kind of position they are seeking. Sometimes they only know they don’t want to do the same thing as their previous position, or they don’t want to ‘limit’ their options, or they just don’t know what’s available. They tell me they are “open right now”.
I can’t help you if you can’t tell me what it is you want!
That may sound obvious, but to a great many job seekers it’s the biggest obstacle to getting meaningful leads. Before you send your resume to a job posting, or go to a networking meeting, or pursue specific companies, take the time and put in the effort to figure out what you want to do and what you are looking for.
Here are some ways to help you figure that out:
~ Take assessment tests to help you figure out your strengths, and understand your personality better. Google “career assessment test” and you will find a multitude of options. I recommend taking multiple tests to see if you get consistent results.
~ Ask family, friends and previous co-workers what they think your strengths and abilities are. Often others see talent and passions in us we didn’t recognize ourselves.
~ Evaluate your previous jobs and determine what aspects and tasks you enjoyed or did well to help you discover what new position would be most appealing. Also, separate your tasks from where, and with whom you did them. Often it wasn’t a job you disliked, but rather the company or culture.
~ Research what kinds of jobs exist related to your interests. You can do this by searching online job boards, getting guidance at your state’s workforce centers, asking others you know, and other online resources. Be realistic as to what you can get hired for with the skills and experience you have, however, for most people there are more options than they might initially realize.
This process may take some time. However, once you determine what your target is, you will be much more effective at communicating a specific objective to others and they will be much more able to give you guidance and effective leads and referrals.
Know what you are looking for!