Over this four-part series, Career Communications Group’s Job Readiness expert Courtney Taborn has shared tips to help you interview with confidence, and looked at what hiring managers want. In this week’s edition, Courtney walks us through 4 steps to finding the job you want.
The best way to approach a job search is with curiosity, an open mind, and a little bit of defiance of your personal status quo. Question preconceived notions of what you are looking for, and remain open to industries and companies that you might not be a perfect fit for.
Gather your thoughts and materials
First, you need to gather your job search materials: an updated resume, cover letters you have used in the past, a list of references and their up-to-date contact information. When you are beginning a search for a new job or career, getting organized is such an important step. It gives you the chance to reflect on your accomplishments and consider the factors that have contributed to your success. Getting organized puts you in the right mindset to undertake the challenge of a job search.
Figure out what qualities you are looking for in a job
To find the right job, you need to figure out the circumstances under which you perform the best. Read through your most recent resume and for each position take notes on three things:
1) Your direct supervisor’s management style
2) An accomplishment you made as a part of a team
3) What lunchtime was like
Your answer to the first question can help you decide whether you are looking for a highly structured environment or an environment that encourages experimentation and ownership of tasks.
Your answer to the second question will help you recall what sorts of institutional challenges you faced. For example, were there many levels of managerial hierarchy to navigate to accomplish simple tasks, or were you able to complete projects with your coworkers without much interference?
Finally, your answer to the third question can help you figure out whether you want to join a close-knit team or would you prefer an organization that encourages highly structured relationships between their employees?
Answering questions like these give you a clear idea of what kind of corporate culture you want to enter, and will help you identify the best positions for you.
Talk to people
If your circumstances permit, let people know that you are looking for a new job. Not only is this a smart networking move to help you find an open position that you are qualified for, but it’s a great way to learn about different working arrangements, management styles, technologies, or ways to use your skillset that you hadn’t considered.
Think about your skills in a new way
When you are thinking about jobs that might be right for you and your skillset, you need to think outside the box. For example, someone who has always been in biological science fields might avoid looking into jobs with companies in the financial sector forgetting that they might be well suited for a financial analyst position in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals.