You’re probably familiar with the expression “job search”. Maybe you’re looking for a job, or maybe you’re just freshening up on your skills. Either way, a job search can feel like an exhausting process, especially if you’re not careful. It’s easy to become over-focused on aspects of the job search that are perceived to be more pressing than others. For example, perhaps you’re very concerned with landing your dream job, and so you obsess over sending out as many applications as possible. Or, perhaps you feel that your skills are outdated and need upgrading, so you spend all of your time and energy training for the latest technology trend.
It’s essential to realize, however, that your approach to search should take into account your overall career objectives. There are certain fundamentals that will help you to prioritize your job search and to form a more effective strategy. The following three suggestions may prove especially helpful:
1. Match Your Search to Your Personality
One of the most crucial elements of a successful job search is to match your search to your personality. On the one hand, you don’t want to rush into a job search that is too simplistic or generic. For example, if you’re an organized person who enjoys structured environments, consider registering for a job at an established law firm. Or, if you’re a highly motivated individual who is driven by career growth, consider pursuing a position at a small firm that offers an opportunity to develop your expertise quickly.
On the other hand, be careful not to over-commit yourself to a job search that is too complex or diverse. For example, if you’re a naturally creative person who enjoys coming up with innovative ideas, yet you feel that you lack the necessary skills to effectively carry out this function at your current job, you might want to consider an administrative position at a small firm. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a change of pace from your current responsibilities, consider a job in corporate law or public finance.
2. Match Your Search to the Industry
Another crucial element of a successful search is to match your search to the industry. Similar to the previous point, you don’t want to rush into a job search that is too generalized or out of date. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in the real estate industry, but your skills are somewhat outdated, consider adjusting your strategy to include a job search in the legal field. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a job in the IT sector, but you lack the necessary skills, consider taking some specialized courses in information technology. Remember that the industry you’re looking for isn’t necessarily the one you’ll end up in. It’s important to be mindful of the demands of the role you’re pursuing, and to consider whether those demands are realistic in light of your skillset.
3. Consider Your Previous Job Search Experiences
Finally, be careful not to approach your job search on an all-or-nothing basis. Sometimes, even experienced job searchers find themselves needing a bit of a refresher course. Consider the last time you tried to find a job, and whether you felt that you successfully landed the role you were seeking. Maybe you had to settle for a role that didn’t match your skillset, but you accepted it because the compensation was good and the responsibilities interesting. Now that you’re in the middle of a job search, it’s important to review your previous experiences as objectively as possible. Remember: none of this is to say that you aren’t suited for your dream job or that you won’t eventually find success. It’s simply to suggest that you reevaluate your situation in light of your unique circumstances. In particular, be sure to consider whether there are any red flags that might indicate you’re in the wrong job or that you’re applying for the wrong role. For instance, if you’re in the middle of a particularly aggressive round of layoffs, it might be best to look for a different position. Or, if you’re not getting any offers that interest you, it might be wise to re-evaluate why that is and determine whether or not you’re in the right place to be finding success (e.g. are you under-qualified for the roles you’re applying for or over-qualified for the jobs you’re finding, etc?).
Hopefully, these three tips will help you to approach your job search with more effectiveness and objectivity. Remember: it’s never easy to find a job, but it’s even harder when you lack the right strategy and tools. By taking the time to plan out your job search and match your search to your personality, industry, and previous experiences, you will be able to land your dream job faster and with far less stress. So, go out there and land that job!