Before focusing on looking for a job, you need to be clear on what you want to do.
Having a clear idea of the job you want means that every aspect of your job search is focused on achieving your objective.
Do you know what you want to do? You need to identify a career that will excite you but that is also one where you are likely to be successful, even if it may entail further training or experience, otherwise you are setting yourself up to fail.
The easiest job to get is one that is similar to the job you already have (or had), or the next level up, and in a similar company. It is more challenging –although not impossible – to make a change, but it can involve a drop in salary and will definitely require you to be absolutely clear on why you want this change of career and how you match up.
You have focus when you know what you want to do. Your goal may be difficult to achieve right now, so break it down and think about what jobs could be a step on the way to where you want to be. This will help you choose a job wherein you will gain relevant experience that will enhance future applications.
- Jenny knew she wanted a career in marketing, and also knew that competition was tough, so she works as a temp in a marketing agency, helping her to make contacts, find out more about the industry and enhancing her CV for her next application.
- Keith wanted to stay within the finance field after redundancy – and knows that his 15-year track record will appeal to other companies. Within just a few months he is successful in a new role.
- Sue wanted to keep her options open and applied for everything she thought she could do, but her CV was vague, she couldn’t be specific when telling others what she wanted and four months on is despondent – she can’t understand why she has only been shortlisted once.
Many people seek to keep their options open but as Sue (in the above case study) found, this can make it harder to create a clear message, whether you are talking to somebody or revising your CV. It also means you are going to find it hard to do sufficient research – you can’t look in depth if you are focused on too many options.
The choice you make is not for ever – indeed a career for life is now a rarity. You are making the choice for your next job. Some people will work towards a defined career path. For others it will be a job for the next couple of years, where they gain experience and then reconsider the direction they will go in.
Most people make a career decision based on their career history. They look at their CV and choose a job to apply for based on what they have done before. This can often be the easiest way to get a new job, and if you need to get a job quickly, this may be your best option. Once settled in a new job, you can then take time to explore what you would really want to do and plan a move to achieve a your new goal.
It’s always worth spending time reviewing who you are and making a decision on what it is that you want to do.
Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic
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