Almost every day I hear from some of Halifax’s most intelligent, educated and talented people working in every imaginable industry who are stuck trying to figure out how to start a job search.
Here is what I hear:
“I feel like I’m spinning my wheels.”
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“I’m working 70 hours a week and have no time for my family and I have no time to look for another job. All I know is that I can’t continue at this pace.”
Does this sound familiar to you? It saddens me to see highly competent people floundering in their job search and feeling stuck in their careers, especially after investing in a good education, specialized training and many years [sometimes decades] toiling away in a job for long hours that may not provide true satisfaction.
Here is my mantra: “Find a focus.” The number one best strategy for finding your next role is to understand what you want. But, this is not always an easy thing to do because there are so many choices available today and our thinking gets clouded by unproductive and illogical reasoning.
Many years ago I recall a senior manager I worked with exclaim to our group as we were conducting a goal-setting exercise: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” I’ve never forgotten those words and before I set out to make a decision relating to my own career, I recall these wise words. If I can’t map out my destination clearly and confidently I stop until I can.
Before you set out to begin your job search and long before you re-write your resume, make sure you know your destination.
One great way to start this destination-finding exercise is to ask yourself “what do I not want to do in my next job?” Perhaps you don’t want a long commute, or you don’t want to work 70 hours per week or perhaps you don’t want to sit at a desk all day. Perhaps you are talented at creating financial statements or pitch books for your employer but you just don’t like doing those things (of course, don’t showcase those talents in your resume or you will likely find yourself toiling away at the same tasks in your next role!).
You would never set out on a vacation without mapping your route. You would never go shopping without knowing what you’re looking for (well…maybe you would!). The point is INTENTION…YOU NEED INTENTION to target your destination.
Maureen Farmer, CRS, CHRP, is Owner and Manager of Word Right Career & HR Consulting and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.