Job-Seeking Step 2: Setting Your Goals

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Step 1: Preparing For The Job Search

1. Figure what you want for your career by sketching it out

  • Spend some time thinking and brainstorming
    • Go on a solo trip to discover yourself
    • Meditate to find out your own thoughts about self and vocation
    • To find a new career requires creativity, so fuel the creative effort
  • Take a few tests to find out what you naturally like doing
  • Connect with people during your research
    • Find a friend in the same situation as you to get support through the process
    • Learn about other people who have been successful in their own careers
      • There are hundreds of resources on the Internet that talk about this
    • Interview someone you know well that you imagine has a “stable job” to find out how wild and unpredictable it goes
      • Explore the chances, occurrences, run-ins and meetings that led to their current state
    • Reconnect with at least 5 old mentors from your past
      • Ask them the same questions you’re asking yourself now
        • If they question why you’re asking them, tell them it’s because you valued the previous information they gave you
      • Listen to everyone, but act on what you know to be true
    • Create a fictional mentor by finding 3 people that encapsulate different elements of what you want to be
      • Write down the specific reasons why you want to be like them
      • Ascribe percentage values to each person on your list to total 100%
  • Figure out the “why” instead of just focusing on the “what”
    • Take time to look at your core values and beliefs
      • Track your natural aptitudes and tendencies
      • Look at what helps you feel revitalized the most
    • A dream job will have you doing 3 major things
      1. What you are good at and built to do
      2. What you love to do
      3. What someone will pay you to do
    • Most people gravitate to a few major roles
      • Entertainers that express themselves to the public, which is hard to get into
      • Creatives that develop new artistic creations, which is also hard to get into
      • Merchants that buy and sell items while making a profit from the exchange
      • Relaters that connect with people and animals and render a service for it
      • Brains that critically think, analyze and come to solutions
      • Movers that make things happen and help people
      • Recordkeepers that maintain and transmit information
    • Take some time to think and ask yourself important questions
      • What you were doing when you were truly happy?
      • What do I tend to do with my extra time and what do I gravitate towards?
      • What did I find meaningless, and why?
      • Where did I find work to be meaningful, and why?
      • What would I do if I could do anything?
      • What one thing would I like to see in my career?
    • Draw out what you want to see yourself doing in 10 or 20 years
      • Imagine 3 vastly different professional fields that excite you
      • Detail the work activities, the preferred cities and the scope of your effect in working
      • Rethink an industry you’re passionate about to find a need that isn’t currently being filled by asking some questions
        • Why does this industry exist?
        • What’s wrong with this industry that could be fixed?
        • What are the bold mavericks doing in this industry?
        • Who are the winners in this industry?
    • Make a clear image of what you desire and want out of your work before doing anything else
      • Write a detailed description of what you will be doing for work
      • Describe the feelings and sensations you will experience
      • Commit this to yourself mentally and don’t sway from it
  • Don’t pay attention to what society deems to be a “good job”
    • A fun job that isn’t challenging is guaranteed to bore you eventually
    • To become an executive, it requires a specific kind of career background to increase your chances
      • Change many job functions across a number of jobs, but stay in one industry
      • Get an MBA from a pedigreed university or have 13 years of relevant experience on top of everything else
      • Live in a major metropolitan melting pot like New York City, Mumbai or Singapore
        • Avoid living in culturally homogenous metro areas like Houston, Washington DC or Madrid
      • Be a male to gain a slight advantage
    • If you want to work for yourself, get started on that instead of looking for a new job

2. Connect the dots between the future and the past

  • Turn the sketch from Step 1 into a final life’s purpose, and work your way backwards
    • Find out what obstacles you need to overcome and what challenges you might face
      • Training or added education you will need to go through
      • Demographic limitations you may face (race, weight, height, etc.)
      • The types of people you need to surround yourself with and the ones you need to avoid
    • Pay attention to trends in your industry or the industry you want to enter into
      • Realistically analyze how you will transition between industries
  • Imagine your work day at the end, and then imagine the work days that will lead to that day
  • Track your current career path
    1. List 25 different milestones, relationships, people, jobs or experiences that brought you to now
    2. Make a visual map of the milestones
    3. Pick 2 random points and add 5 more milestones that got you from one step to the next
    4. Create a fictional character with your milestones
      1. Add 10 bullet points anywhere on the map that are plausible things you’ve never done
      2. Write three fictional storylines that can unite all the bullet points
      3. Ask about what kinds of characters these people are
        • What are their career ambitions and goals?
        • How did they get there?
        • How did this diverse set of milestones unite in a way that is different than yours?
      4. Write a future biography for each character
      5. Reflect on the implications of these fictional characters with your own life
    5. Note your emotions throughout the map with a different pen color
    6. Review your map and figure out what you want to repeat, do differently or learn from it
  • Emotionally separate yourself from the bad parts of your job history
    • Make a journal to track your feelings as you uncover your career pains
    • If you distance yourself from your past pains, you will succeed in making distance professionally

3. Set immediate goals

  • Find out what your next steps are to attain that final purpose
    • Think about who you are now, especially your skills and experience
      • Make a list of at least 15 things you want to learn and think about the jobs that can fulfill that role
      • Find relevant online classes to take that are free or discounted through SkillShare, Udemy and other sites
    • Look at your marketability and what you can do to improve it
      • Try out making a website or putting your portfolio online
      • If you’re just starting out, start looking for volunteering and internships
      • Any activity that looks good to an employer is worth trying, but you’ll eventually want to focus in on your career
    • Decide how much money you need to make minimum to maintain your lifestyle
  • Discipline yourself to put your time and energy into the entire process
    • Meditate or focus on the task to prepare yourself for what is coming
      • You will need to be teachable, since any new job will have an adaptation to it
      • You will need to accept the changes that will come, since your new job is guaranteed to have some things worse off than you have it right now
    • Devote 25 hours a week to the search
    • Set a future date months later to reassess everything and measure your progress
  • Zoom in on specific industries, and then on specific jobs inside of that industry
    • Try to find a job that fits your life’s path and look for
      • Opportunities for personal development
      • Chances to travel the “unbeaten path”
      • Companies that share your vision
    • If you get past everything else, an employer wants three things
      • Can you do the job?
      • Will you like doing the job?
      • Can we handle working with you?
    • You can get any job you want if you know the right way to sell your transferable skills
      • Look at the jobs you’ve had in the past
      • Look outside of your jobs for non-work-related experience
        • Volunteering, internships, job shadowing and externships are seen as work experience by many employers
      • Brainstorm with trusted friends, colleagues and mentors
  • You will never be fully prepared, and there will always be a fear and risk attached to the job search
    • Get ready to accept change wherever you go, and that the change will likely be for the better

4. Get in the right frame of mind

  • You are a valuable resource contracted to an employer
    • Take control of your career: if you don’t manage your career, your career will be managed for you
    • Your belief in your long-term views will determine how far you really go
    • Learn self-awareness to manage the anxiety that is going to come up in the job-seeking process
  • Your business results are not everything
    • Your culture mixed with a company’s matters more than almost anything else
      • Even being a helpful person can be seen as offensive in the wrong culture
    • Even in our distance-networked culture, spending time face-to-face is still vital
      • There is always a “human element” that we tend to overlook
    • You need to be passionate about the job
      • A lower-paying job with many learning opportunities is much better than a high-paying job you hate
  • You don’t need to follow a predictable career path
    • Lateral career moves are perfectly okay, nobody becomes successful through a predictable series of jobs
    • An odd job today might become a work opportunity tomorrow
    • Look at jobs outside of your current realm of experience
  • Your attitude will either cover many gaps in experience or will increase the chances that you’re overlooked for the position
    • A positive attitude, charming disposition and general state of happiness is absolutely necessary to land a great job
      • Become more productive by removing distractions from the search
      • The job search is going to be difficult, and it requires consistent effort to succeed at it
      • The ability to appear confident is also essential, which will come the easiest from learning genuine self-respect
    • People want someone that is a professional, and you need to come across as one
      • Employers don’t want credentials as much as they want competence
      • Enthusiasm for the work is more important than talent
      • The worst thing isn’t being rejected, it’s being forgettable
Next: Step 3: Crafting Your Image