Here's the second instalment in the series of articles about getting the job you want.
You might be dissatisfied with your current role and want to get a better job. Or you might be a career returner getting back into work after some time away – perhaps caring for dependents.
Or maybe you had a job and lost it.
Whatever your reason for being a jobseeker, these articles are here to help you. In Step 1 I covered the foundation of effective jobseeking: Knowing Yourself.
In Step 2 I invite you to build on that work by thinking about the type of role that you want. Not the actual job title.... but what your perfect role would involve; the skills and activities that will excite and motivate you.
1.Reflect on what Step 1 showed you.
Skills, Characteristics and Values. Although it isn't always easy to list these personal traits, it's essential to keep working at knowing yourself as thoroughly as you can so that you can make the right choices in searching for a job and presenting yourself confidently and sincerely to employers.
So reflect on that list of personal qualities. Starting with your Skills, pull out the top three. These are your core strengths.
You don't have to limit yourself to three if you don't want to. Go for 4 or 5 if you like. The question to ask yourself is: Can you provide evidence that each of these is a true strength? Can you tell true stories of successfully putting these skills to use?
If you can say 'yes' to these questions then it's fair and true to call them your strengths.
Now do the same with Characteristics. Select the 3-5 that you feel are truest of you.
Finally, reflect on your core values and passions. Pull out the 3-5 that are most important to you.
In thinking about and refining the original list, you're beginning to crystallise or define (perhaps for the first time) the person you want to portray to the employment market.
It's at this point that some people realise that they don't want to work for an employer in the traditional sense at all. They want to work for themselves. If that conclusion cries out to you, don't ignore it..... your heart is speaking to you.
But you're not quite done yet.
2. Confirm and refine the list by
- collating examples of these skills, qualities and values being carried out or demonstrated by you. These stories and examples are going to form an important component of your self-presentation to the employment market.
- seeking feedback from friends, colleagues, customers or suppliers. What do they think your strengths and drivers are? Use the feedback you get to refine, tweak or improve the lists.
3. Think about the practicalities.
How much must your new job pay? Or is salary not vital to you at the moment?
Where does the job have to be located? If you have children at school for example, this consideration may limit the area in which the job must be based.
How much travel can the job entail? What hours must the job involve? Those with dependents or other non-work responsibilities may well have limitations on the hours they can work or whether the job can be full time or part time.
These criteria are not meant to be exhaustive.
4. Now, thinking through all the above; complete this sentence:
“I'm looking for a job that will allow me to use my skills of ___, ___and ___. I'm seeking a job in which my personal qualities of ___ and ___ will allow me to contribute to ___. Salary needs to be at least £xxxx per year/month/week.”
All these activities are designed to help you to be clear about the characteristics of your ideal role.
In Step 3 I'll introduce the idea of finding the opportunities that fit your description. The doors that you want to open may not be where you expect.