My wife has been on a mission this week: Operation find THE perfect pair of shoes. And now, after 30 years of marriage, I know to stay out of her way. She wants a red pair. OK, so what’s the big deal? You go down to the store and buy a red pair in your size—am I not correct?
Apparently not. It has to be the RIGHT shade of red. In addition to being the right shade of red, the heel needs to be of the proper height and width, made out of the proper materials, be comfortable to walk in, and finally be an overall “cute” pair of shoes. In her mind’s eye, she knows EXACTLY what that perfect pair looks like and is not willing to compromise just to have a pair of red shoes—although, she wouldn’t say no to a good pair of leopard print shoes either, with the same above mentioned criteria met. She also knows that if she settles for less than she’s looking for she won’t be completely happy. She eventually won’t wear the shoes and she will be starting over, looking for another pair of shoes.
To some extent, these same principles of shoe buying need to be applied to a job search. What are you looking for in a job? Identifying what you truly want in a position before starting your search, can help avoid bad job choices in the future.
Time to take out a sheet of paper or open a blank document on your computer. We’re going to do a little exercise. I want you to list your desires for your next position. Think about what you want out of your next (or even current) job. There is no right or wrong; only what you feel will make your perfect job. Here are a few suggestions to get you started (I’m not doing your homework for you!):
- Career Goals. What do you truly want to do—what is your passion? How do you want to contribute and make a difference? Where do you see yourself in two, five, or ten years? What do you need to do to accomplish these goals?
- The position itself. Is it in-line with your career goals? Are you a people person, or do you prefer to be in the background. Are you a “hands-on” type person or do you do better working in a large group?
- The company. Small, medium or large? Local, national, international? Do you get energized by working in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, ever evolving environment or do you thrive in a stable, structured workplace. Maybe you see yourself with your own company, not having to answer to anyone but you.
- Compensation. What’s the lowest salary that you can live with? What type of benefits do you need or desire? How much vacation or paid time off is fair to you? Are there perks that would be nice to have?
- Work/Life balance. What’s the average workday/workweek look like? How much travel—if any—are you willing to do? Are you willing to relocate? Will your employer support/encourage your away from work hobbies or community interests?
Preparing for your search with a tool like this is not a guarantee that you will find and land the perfect position. Bridge jobs (jobs that you view as temporary or as a stepping stone to your dream job) are sometimes necessary and are good as long as you continue to progress toward your career goals. It is also OK to go back to your list and revise it as your needs and desires change. What this tool will do is allow you to focus and better target opportunities that will help you achieve your goals. Some job seekers, when faced with job transition, look for and jump at the first opportunity that presents itself. All too soon they realize that the opportunity was probably not the best fit for them and find themselves unsatisfied and in the job market again. Taking a little extra time at the beginning of your search will payoff in the long run.
Do you need help with your career journey? Please contact me today at 888.522.8233 to schedule your complimentary Career Boost Strategy Session and we can begin to work on this together.