Knowing that you are about to take on a job search can be intimidating. Especially if you have no idea how to approach getting the job that you really want.
As with many things, having a defined goal backed by a well-focused plan can put you in the best position to be successful.
To find the job that you really want, your plan MUST include identifying what is important to you.
Your ideal job is more than what you do. It’s also achieving the broader goals you seek to accomplish through doing your job. With a clear goal in mind, you can then set a task list. A successful job search with direction and focus will land you the job you want.
Here are 5 Steps to make you feel confident and prepared in getting the job you really want:
Step 1: Define Your Dream Job
Your first step is reserving time to independently define what you want in a job. Then write it all down.
This work can clearly state what you are competent in doing now. Or can define what you have an interest in or passion to learn as part of your career growth.
You may want to stretch yourself with more challenging tasks or with a higher volume. Maybe you feel that you are ready for leadership. Alternatively, you could be tired of leading others and now desire a more independent job.
The important part is to focus on what you will enjoy or what you will feel fulfilled in doing.
Do not be fooled by focusing only on what you are good at. If it does not fit the criteria of what you really want to do, it does not need to be on your list.
Clarity Brings Your Dream Job Into Reality
Beyond the actual work, it is important to clarify the full work experience that you are seeking. Your goal is to be aligned with where you work and who you work with, in addition to the job that you do.
The more life that you bring to your vision, the clearer it will become.
Define what you want to do, where you want to do it, and for whom. With this, you can better understand where you will truly fit in. Answer questions like these for clarity:
- Do I prefer to work on specific tasks or open-ended projects where I get to define how to get it done?
- Am I more productive working shoulder-to-shoulder with my boss or do I need space to be independent in my thinking?
- Is a think-tank environment better for my brainstorming or do I prefer quiet to collect my thoughts and creative ideas?
- When I feel in my zone where am I and what am I doing?
Your job environment can be an important factor in your productivity, stress level, and general optimism around your work.
Once you have finished your list, take time to review it once or twice more. Ensure that you have examined your desires from different perspectives and have not, unintendedly, left anything out.
Now it may feel foreign to seriously consider and incorporate in your search all that you have defined. You may want to compromise and tell yourself that you are asking for too much.
Save the edits for the end, never include them in the beginning.
Start your search with the highest of expectations first before you negotiate against yourself.
Remember your goal is to get the job you really want. Aiming for a low target from the start only ensures that you will fall short of reaching your higher goal.
Step 2: Clarify the Reason You Want Your Future Job
Another part of assessing what you want in a job is to consider its purpose for you. Everyone does not go to work for the same reason.
Identifying your “why” can put your strategy for obtaining the job that you want into better focus.
For some, your next job is the next logical step in your career progression. So put yourself in a position to gain skills and experiences to further your growth in your field. For others, you may want to take a less taxing role while you work on a degree or certification.
Still, others may have no vested interest in a career. Instead, you simply need benefits for your family. Or you may prioritize schedule flexibility to pursue your passion projects outside of work. Maybe you just need a side-hustle while you get your own business off the ground.
Your “why” will have a direct correlation with the right job for you. Your investment of time, energy, and commitment to the job that you seek to have will be dictated by your why.
It will also serve as your continued motivation to stay at a job because it genuinely meets your needs. That is why from the very beginning you want to clearly define your reasons for working.
Don’t create an imbalanced expectation for a job to fulfill your needs when it was never set up to do so from the beginning. Know what you are signing up for, and why, and target the right job in your search.
Step 3: Sell Your Best Self to the Job You Want
Now that you have covered all the bases of what you want and why, you need to create the tool that you will use to share your story.
A resume is the most common form of communication with your potential new employer.
This document will give you the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills and tenure in your field. Also, it allows you to share accomplishments important to you and relevant to the hiring manager.
The best resumes are those that convey a solid story. Allow the reader to understand your journey and the logical progression leading to where you want to be today.
Sometimes your resume cannot tell the entire story. Or you may have made a unique turn on your career path. In these cases, you may consider including a cover letter to fill in the gaps.
These documents are your voice before you speak in an interview or have an exploratory call about the job. It represents not only your work history but your communication style and personality.
The magic of the resume writing process is in only sharing your skills, education, and accomplishments that reflect what you actually want to do. Your highlighted accomplishments should only include those experiences that you want to use in the future.
Employers are looking for talent that can be successful in fixing their problems. If you tell the story of ALL that you did, including the parts that you hated doing, you are selling yourself to a job you don’t really want.
For this reason, it is important to be careful and thoughtful regarding the resume and cover letter content.
Review closely for errors, omissions, and overall consistency. Ensure that you focus on sharing relevant content that is useful to the position you are applying to.
Strategically customize your resume, directing your future employer to what you want to do now. Do not blindly list every single thing that you did in your past.
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Now that you have prepared your communication tool, you are ready to move forward. Apply to job advertisements, speak with your network, and participate in interviews with clarity and confidence.
Step 4: Get Your Marketing Team Ready
Now that you have defined your ideal job and you have a tool to share your story, you can build your support team to help you get the job that you want.
Engaging your network in your job search really only works after you have clarified your employment goals. Your family, friends, co-workers, and professional contacts can all act as ambassadors for who you are and what you want to do. And with the perfect job in mind, you are likely to pass this information on with enthusiasm.
Encourage your ambassadors to share your passion as well as your qualifications to strengthen your marketing campaign even more.
Prepare Your Network to Be Successful in Your Search
You want to prep your network with the added details that will not be on a resume. For example, if you would love to work close to home, let them know the radius of your search. If you would like to work flexible hours, let them know your ideal schedule.
Take heed, it is always better to pass on positive details only.
People tend to repeat exactly what you tell them. And if you have specifications that could appear negative you may not want those repeated.
Even if you have had negative experiences in the past, concentrate on what you would prefer from your new experience. Then share this version, your list of positive wants, with your network. This will help ensure your message is conveyed in the proper manner and spirit.
Your future job has a marketing strategy to get their job vacancy filled successfully. You want to ensure that you also have a marketing strategy to get the job that you want.
Step 5: Focus Your Search on the Ideal Job
Structuring your search is more than talking to your network. It also includes putting yourself out for the world to see.
Job posting boards are useful tools where you can upload your resume in addition to searching for openings in your area.
When you need more discretion, only apply directly to the open position. And refrain from posting your resume publicly.
When combing through job listings, consider these points:
- Research companies that have the job content that fits your skill set.
- Don’t forget to consider the company culture that you want or need. The feel of a company can be just important as the work you will do. Company culture can be a significant contributor as to whether or not you are comfortable working anywhere long-term.
- When responding to job posts, take the time to truly read the advertisements (not just titles). Scan for the finer details that may hit more points on your wants list.
- Be open to looking beyond the title as a perfect job can be hidden behind a poorly titled post.
- If connecting with recruiters, use this person-to-person opportunity to tell details beyond your resume. Whether the recruiter works for the company or not, they will represent you to the decision maker. Ensure your customized job preferences are well-defined for them. Remember, clarity, enthusiasm, and focus on your goals are the right tools for sharing your story well and getting the job that you want.
When you keep your vision of where you want to be at the forefront, you approach your search differently. It’s much more than if you qualify for a job.
Instead, it’s whether or not the job qualifies to make your list of what you really want.
Bonus Tip: A Winning Mindset Is Key
Creating a plan for success is important to gaining success. But you have to believe in your plan and that your goal is achievable for you.
Mindset is EVERYTHING on this journey.
Without the proper mindset, you are simply completing tasks on a checklist and half-heartedly wishing for the best.
There is a difference between knowing that you can accomplish your goal and hoping that you can accomplish your goal.
And that difference is the difference between getting the job you want or settling for a job you can get.
Be an active participant in permitting your dreams to be possible by letting your desires be serious expectations in your life.
Your thoughts can become things when you stand in a place of acceptance and gratitude.
Work for yourself and not against yourself. And you will see the results of your efforts come together in creating the job opportunity that you seek.
If you are ready to live the life that you prefer to live, then call out and expect what you want to happen.
Take the inspired actions that lead you towards the job you really want and be ready to receive it.
Should We Review Your Action Steps for the Job You Want?
- Define Your Dream Job because you only hit a target you can define and share
- Clarify the Reason You Want Your Future Job to keep motivated for short and long-term goals
- Sell Your Best Self to the Job You Want by calling out the version of you that you want to project to your next employer
- Get Your Marketing Team Ready and give them tools and guidance to share your story with clarity
- Focus Your Search on the Ideal Job by using your tools, words, and enthusiasm to sell yourself well
- Set Your Mind on Your Mission because no one can believe in your goal more than you
Looks like you are ready to activate your plan to get the job that you really want.
Follow these steps, take inspired actions through the process, and share in the comments your success story that you will certainly have in the future.
While you’re finding the job that is right for you, keep your momentum strong. Here are a couple of posts to help you along the way:
- The Best Affirmations for Confidence When Quitting Your Job
- The Ultimate Guide for Leaving a Job Stress-Free
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