Career Planning – Defining Your Search

Posted on Posted in Where to Start

Now that you’ve defined your timeline, it’s time to start making some decisions. Without a strong plan, you will find yourself applying online for jobs that seem ok.  I want you finding the job you can’t wait to do. The job that you have worked the last 10 years to get.  THAT’s where you should be aiming, and this is exactly where it gets fun. It’s time to think higher, dream bigger, and get the job you deserve.

There are 3 key components you need to consider before you start your search.

With over 5 million job openings every month in the United States, the most important thing you can do as to narrow your focus to your ideal situation. It can be hard to do that with everyone talking about how hard it is to get a job, but whenever you get tempted to just go out there and start applying, remember the 5 million jobs and choose quality over quantity with your applications. First and foremost, you need to define as best as you can:

  1. Your preferred location: Start with the city and state where you’ll be living after graduation – you need to be close by to easily get to interviews.
  2. Your preferred industry: If you don’t know, let’s start with what piques your interest. If you love sports, science, video games, music, fashion, hospitality/tourism, education, or even have a favorite club in college, add it to your “narrowed down” list.
  3. Your preferred function: If you’re lucky, you had an amazing college major that is directly tied to a professional function (accounting, marketing, business management to name a few). But even then, most college graduates are still unclear on exactly what they want to do within their field. You have my permission not to know and as a starting point, I’m going to suggest you narrow it down to 2 functions to start. How can this world possibly expect you to figure out what you want to do, when you haven’t done it?

2 out of 3 is a strong start.

If you have a preferred location AND 1-2 industries that sound interesting; OR you know what you want to do and you just don’t know which industry you want to do it in, you’re in a really great place.

If you’re still figuring out #2 and #3, that’s ok. The next few steps in this process will help you narrow it down.

Write down your focus, and rank your #1 most important factor.

This is your no compromise point. It means that if you’re not getting the traction need in 2 months, you know you have 2 areas (location, industry or function) where you can make some adjustments without compromising what’s most important to you.

Can’t wait to start the next step? Click here to help yourself learn more about your strengths.