Five questions that need to be answered in your next Job Search

I spend a lot of my volunteer time working with those in career transition.  It only makes sense that I use the Five Questions format to continue with what I do in that area.

You might have read my earlier posts in the Five Questions area.  They include the following:

Five questions to ask before you take that next job

Five questions you should ask before retaining an Executive Search firm

Five questions you need to ask your Key Staff members

On a personal note, this one is one of my favorites:

Five questions I wish I had asked my father

Let’s get started.

  1. What do I want to do?  So often I see job seekers who don’t know what  they want to do.  The real challenge comes when they reach the brink of what I call the “desperation stage”.  This occurs when the level of anxiety gets too high and they think they should take any job.  The best journey starts with a plan, not that plans don’t change, but you need a plan.  More on that next. Five
  2. What do I need to include in my job search plan?  There are two key things to know when you start your plan:
    1. What do I like to do?  It is fruitless to look for any job and then become dissatisfied quickly.  Better to learn what you like and find something, anything that plays on that interest.
    2. What am I good at?  This one can be a little more tricky.  First start with self reflection and also ask others.  Those you have worked with are usually good resources to give you feedback.  There are also resources you can use to learn your skills including StrengthsFinder, personality assessments and skill assessments.  This is a very important step…
  3. Who do I know?  Knowing yourself I steps 1 and 2 must come first, but then it really boils down to who you know and who they know.  Most of us are within a few steps of connecting with most anyone we want, and some people have more that are close than others.  Learn who these people are and get to know them well.  It is fine to ask for help, but always be willing to return the favor.  Most of us don’t keep score, but we all have an intuitive sense of who helps others and How do who only helps themselves.
  4. Where do I want to work?  I wish I had a dollar for everyone who has come to me looking for help, but who had no idea where they wanted to work.  I like to teach people how to fish, but just feeding them over and over is fruitless for both of us.  I am a good equipper, but if you need charity it might be a different matter.  I don’t mean to sound harsh, but we live in a world where many people have forgotten the value of hard work and planning. (see my post on the five questions I wish I had asked my father)
  5. How do I get started?  Fail to plan, plan to fail.  After completing steps 1-4, then prioritize in two ways, companies and contacts.  Either can come first, that is your choice.  I would prioritize the contacts first either by those with the most access or by those who you know best.  The company part can then follow after you start the networking process with the contacts.  You can never talk to too many people and you should never stop listening or helping others.

Here you have it; five steps that should help you get started on your next job search.  Which question are you on?  Have you answered them all?  How are you progressing?

Let me know how this works for you.