It can be challenging to motivate yourself for a job search, particularly when you’re not terribly unhappy at work. But if even if you’re merely considering leaving your job, it’s probably time to begin looking.
While it’s a wonderful thought and it does occasionally occur, chances are you will never open your Outlook inbox and find the perfect job waiting for you. Therefore, you will need to do some extra work. That being said, there are numerous activities to make your job search run smoothly—and more effectively. Here are five steps that will help you find professional fulfillment:
1-Think about what you would like to be doing. It sounds like common sense but many of us get caught up in the job search rollercoaster and, before we know it, we end up with a new job at a company that we never quite fully vetted. It is essential to ruminate over what brings you satisfaction in your career. A few questions you can ask yourself include:
-Do I prefer to work on large or small teams?
-Do I like long-term projects or does the thrill of daily troubleshooting bring me joy?
-Is the company’s mission crucial to me; or am I more about the job itself?
Like everything else, you will need to make some compromises with your wish list, but it is essential to pinpoint where you have some wiggle room.
2-Research employers. There are numerous industry sectors out there and many employers within these sectors: small or large, funky or conservative, for profit or nonprofit. Begin with broad research based on your geographic location and start to construct a list of employers. You can consult Google, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and numerous other specialized resources based on your industry. As you narrow your list down, review the websites of the companies to further drill down on their attributes and to identify any open positions.
3-Mine your connections. Once you have a list of approximately twenty-five employers that intrigue you, cross reference your LinkedIn connections with your list. You will undoubtedly find many first and second connections who have experience with the companies on your list. You should reach out to your connections with customized emails or direct LinkedIn messages. The goal is to glean information regarding the cultures of the organizations you are interested in—and to find advocates within these organizations.
4-Prepare your resume. Do some research on Yelp and LinkedIn, check references, and hire a professional resume writer. Professionally written resumes perform better than the “do it yourself” variety and moving the task off your plate will free up your time for activities such as researching open positions.
5-Be strategic—but authentic—during the job interview. Getting a job offer is not the objective of interviewing—it’s learning more about the company and the position. Nor is interviewing a game of skill where you provide the answers you believe the employer wants to hear. You should be your authentic self during the interview because, ultimately, the employer knows a lot more about the company than you do. If the hiring manager thinks you’re not a fit for the job, you’re probably not a fit for the job. Once you internalize this, it will be extremely liberating, and you will wash away a lot of negative feelings.
If you need support in your job search—whether it’s clarifying the type of work you would like to be doing or creating a professionally written resume, contact San Francisco-based resume writer, Robin Kelley, at Resume Preferred to schedule an introductory call.