It’s really not that hard to kick your job search into high gear. Some of us get so focused on building the resume, the bio and figuring out who to include as a reference that we forget to do a few basics which really happen BEFORE the resume re-write begins. When you think about preparing for your job search you might spend all of your time preparing a killer resume and think that is all you need. Unfortunately, a resume is only one tool in helping you present yourself to a prospective employer or a recruiter. Your job search begins with your ability to research, goal-set and prepare yourself – three ways to plug and play to you’re your career forward and find your dream job.
Whether you are just starting out or have been in the same job for years, chances are you can use a little freshening up as it relates to knowing what you are worth, what you should be making and who your competition is. When you spend any length of time in a job you might get a little too comfortable and think that what you are doing, making and getting from your job is the very best your industry has to offer. And if you are just starting out, well you just might be lacking the basic knowledge to help you navigate the career landscape. Here are a few essential steps you should take before you embark on your career search no matter where you are in the process.
1- Research. It’s time to educate yourself on you. What are you worth? How does the market value your position? What experience, skills additional training should you have in order to elevate you in your profession? Are there professional groups, associations, boards, networking events you should belong to or get acquainted with in order to help you get more information? Knowing what you know or don’t know about your profession no matter how long you’ve been doing it is essential BEFORE you attempt to market and sell yourself to a prospective employer.
2- Goal – Setting. What are you looking to get out of your next job? Are you looking to just jump ship or are you looking for some level of growth, advancement and overall professional development from your next career opportunity? If so, then spending some time and money on getting a coach, attending a goal-setting seminar or class will help you map out what you are looking to accomplish in the next few years as it relates to where you want to go in your career. Instead of spending time jumping from one interview or job offer, to another hoping someone will notice you, spend some time getting to know what you are looking for and what will ultimately feed your soul. Setting your career goals BEFORE you accept your next job offer will help you make a better decision in the long run.
3- Network. As important as it is to do the research, nothing prepares you better for knowing what you want, what you should ask for than setting your intentions, networking and speaking to colleagues and professionals who are already doing it for a living. Whether these are trusted colleagues or people you don’t know, building your network BEFORE you need one is important if you want to successfully choose your next job.
Data gathering and learning as much as you can BEFORE you need a job is a sure fire way of making your job search as easy as plug and play.