Working Strategies: Job search basics step 1 – identify the work you’re seeking

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 - Jobs

Earlier this spring I described a five-step process for people interested in launching a job search this summer. Those steps again: Identify the work you’re seeking; Research that work; Review/refresh necessary skills; Create a list of potential employers; Conduct outreach to those employers.

For today’s column I’ll provide a deeper dive into the first step, Identify the work you’re seeking. This is probably obvious, but this is first for a very logical reason: If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it becomes quite a bit more difficult to find it.

And yet, despite the evident logic of this strategy, launching a search without a target is one of the most common mistakes made by job seekers. With thousands of job openings instantly accessible via online job boards, it’s very easy to while away the morning hopping from one link to the other without ever realizing that you’re not the one steering the ship.

In a tight, recessionary market, this leads to massive amounts of frustration, but I’m almost more afraid of the problems posed by a labor-hungry market: The tendency to take the first job offered simply because it’s there. That’s the kind of trend that keeps me and my colleagues in business, as unhappy workers cycle back out of jobs they dislike only a year or two after starting.

If you’d like to reduce the chances of accepting work that doesn’t suit you, your first line of defense is to take control of your search. Which brings us back to making a positive choice for the work you’d like to do next. If you’re convinced, let’s get started.

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