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

  • Take a few tests to find out what you naturally like doing
  • Figure out the “why” instead of just fixing on the “what”
    • Take time to look at your core values and beliefs
    • Draw out what you want to see yourself doing in 10 or 20 years
    • 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?
    • Have 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

2. Connect the dots between then and now

  • 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

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
    • 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, find opportunities 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
  • 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 and internships 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
    • 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