Job-Seeking Step 2: Setting Your Goals

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Step 1: Preparing For The Job Search

1. Sketch out what you want from your career

Take time to think and brainstorm

Take a few tests to find what you naturally enjoy

Connect with others while you research

Find a friend in the same situation for support through the change

Learn from others who were successful in their careers

  • There are hundreds of resources on the Internet that talk about this, especially TEDtalks

Interview someone you know you imagine has a “stable job” to discover how wild and unpredictable it is

  • Explore the chances, occurrences, run-ins, and meetings which led to their current position

Reconnect with at least five mentors from your past

  • Ask them the same questions you’re asking yourself now
  • If they question why you’re asking them, let them know you valued their previous insight
  • Listen to them but only act on what you know is true

Create a fictional mentor by finding three people who encapsulate different elements of what you want to be

  • Write specific reasons why you wish to be like them
  • Ascribe percentage values to each person to total 100%

Figure out the “why” instead of just focusing on the “what”

Discover your core values and beliefs

  • Track your natural aptitudes and tendencies
  • Look at what helps you feel revitalized the most

You will do three major things in a dream job

  1. What you’re good at and built to do
  2. What you love to do
  3. What someone will pay you to do

Jobs fall into a few roles

  • Entertainers express themselves to the public (hard to start in)
  • Creatives develop new artistic works (hard to start in)
  • Merchants buy and sell items at a profit (needs industry-specific knowledge)
  • Relaters connect people to other people and things (needs connections)
  • Brains critically think, analyze, and come to solutions (needs intelligence)
  • Movers make things happen and help people (needs strength and social skills)
  • Recordkeepers maintain and transmit information (needs thoroughness and patience)

Ask yourself some important questions

  • What were you doing when you felt a sense of flow?
  • What do you gravitate towards with your extra time?
  • What did you find meaningless, and why?
  • Where did you find work meaningful, and why?
  • What would you do if you could do anything?
  • What one thing would you like to see in your career?

Draw out what you want to see yourself doing in ten or twenty years

  • Imagine three vastly different professional fields that excite you
  • Detail the work activities, the preferred cities, and the scope of your work’s effect

Ask some questions about an industry you’re passionate about to find a currently unfulfilled need

  • Why does this industry exist?
  • What problems could the industry have fixed?
  • What are bold mavericks doing in the industry?
  • Who is winning in the industry?

Before moving on, make a clear image of what you want out of your work

  1. Write a detailed description of your future work
  2. Describe the feelings and sensations you’ll experience
  3. Commit yourself to the experience mentally and never sway from it

Ignore what society considers a great job

  • A dream job comes entirely from personality and current life state
  • A fun job which isn’t challenging will eventually bore you
  • Stable jobs with no chance of upward mobility or variety will make you feel oppressed and stifled
  • Many times, intended positions from college degrees are incredibly low-demand

Your most likely chance of becoming an executive requires a specific career background

  • Change many job functions across many jobs, but stay in one industry
  • Either get an MBA from a pedigreed university or have thirteen years of relevant experience
  • Live in a large metropolitan melting pot like New York City, Mumbai or Singapore
  • Avoid living in culturally homogenous metro areas like Houston, Washington DC or Madrid
  • Gain a slight advantage by being male

If you want to work for yourself, start a business 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 life’s purpose and work your way backward

Consider your obstacles and possible challenges

  • Training or added education you’ll need
  • Demographic limitations you may face (e.g., race, weight, height)
  • Types of people you’ll have to surround yourself with or avoid
  • Cultural expectations of groups you want to be in

Look at trends in your desired industry

  • If you’re moving between industries, realistically analyze how you will transition

Imagine the workday of your desired job, then imagine the workdays that lead to that day

Track your current career path

A. List twenty-five milestones, relationships, people, jobs or experiences that brought you to now

B. Create a visual map of the milestones

C. Pick two random points and add five more milestones that brought you between them

D. Create a fictional character with your milestones

  1. Add ten bullet points anywhere on the map as plausible things you haven’t done
  2. Write three fictional stories which can unite all the bullet points
  3. Ask 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 differently than yours?
  4. Write a future biography for each character
  5. Reflect on the implications of these fictional characters with your own life

E. Note your emotions throughout the map with a different pen color

F. Review your map and figure out what you want to repeat, do differently or learn from

  • Journal your feelings as you uncover your career pains
  • Emotionally separate yourself from the worst portions of your job history

3. Set immediate goals to attain your final purpose

Think about who you are now, especially your skills and experience

  • Make a list of at least fifteen things you want to learn
  • Think about the jobs that can fulfill the role of what you learned
  • Find free or discounted relevant online classes through SkillShare, Udemy, and other sites

Discover how to improve your marketability

  • Make a website or put your portfolio online
  • Look for volunteering and internships if you’re new in your career
  • Try whatever would look attractive to an employer, but keep your focus on your career

Calculate the minimum income to maintain your lifestyle and how much you need to survive

Discipline yourself to put time and energy into the process

  • Meditate and focus on your goals to prepare yourself
  • A new job needs change, which means you must be teachable
  • Prematurely accept part of your new position will be worse than your current one
  • Devote twenty-five hours a week to the job change
  • Set a date months later to reassess everything and measure your progress

Zoom in on specific industries, then on specific jobs in that industry

Look for a job that fits your life’s path

  • Opportunities for personal development
  • Chances to travel the “unbeaten path”
  • Companies that share your vision

An employer fundamentally 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 how to sell your transferable skills

Brainstorm with trusted friends, colleagues, and mentors

Look at the jobs you’ve had in the past

Look outside your jobs for non-work-related experience

  • Many employers consider volunteering, internships, job shadowing, and externships as work experience

You can’t be fully prepared for the job search and will always experience some fear and risk

  • Learn to accept change wherever you go
  • Most career changes are universally better

4. Get in the right frame of mind

Take control of your career

  • If you don’t manage your career, others will do it for you
  • You are a valuable resource contracted to an employer
  • Your long-term views will determine how far you can go
  • Learn self-awareness to manage anxiety from the job-seeking process

Your business results aren’t everything

A successful job comes mostly from your culture mixing into a company’s

Face-to-face time is vital, even in a distance-networked culture

You need to be passionate about the job you’re looking into

  • A low-paying job with learning opportunities is far better than a high-paying job you hate

You don’t need a predictable career path

  • Successful people usually transitioned through many lateral career moves
  • An odd job today may be a work opportunity tomorrow
  • Look at positions outside your current realm of experience

Your attitude will either cover experience gaps or increase your chances of being overlooked

A positive attitude, charming disposition and general state of happiness is necessary to attain a great job

  • Become more productive by removing distractions from the search
  • The job search will be difficult and requires consistent effort to succeed
  • Learn genuine self-respect to gain the vital ability to appear confident

Employers want a professional, and you must come across as one

  • Competence is more important than credentials
  • Enthusiasm is more important than talent

Rejection in job-seeking is commonplace, but being forgettable ruins any chance for success

Next: Step 3: Crafting Your Image