Now that you have focused on getting your
head in the game, it’s time to get some of your ideas from your head to paper and get your career search started in the right direction.
You know what your personal strengths are
and which jobs match those strengths. In order to attain clarity you need to
come up with a targeted job search strategy.
To begin with, think of words that
describe the line of work you are interested and then Google those key words.
example if you are interested in HR, Google HR benefits, consulting, training
and development, generalist, etc.... By doing this, you are continuing your
brainstorm of combining your skills and interests.
If you realize that the key words you are
searching for really don’t describe what you want to do, then now would be a
good time to go back to your “focus” phase.
The end goal is
to find something that says to you, “I want to do this job.” Sometimes it takes
going back to square one to make sure you have the clarity you need.
After you have
found the job description that fits your needs and skills, add LinkedIn at the
end of the web search so you can view what someone does in that field.
you are not just looking for a job description (which is part of clarity) but also finding out what
requirements you may need to transition. You may realize that taking a
particular certification class could improve your chances of standing out from
the crowd or simply enhance your skills and improve your confidence.
If you need to
improve or add to your credentials in order to get the job you want, come up
with a plan of action. Where can you take the courses you need? What kind of
timeline and cost does the program have?
having a realistic idea of what you need to accomplish, you will be more able
to follow through with it.
Clarity is all
about making sure you are heading in the right direction and your energy is
being put to use constructively.
I recently read a blog on the Psychology Today website called Understanding Focus In Sports
. The author, Jim Taylor, Ph.D discussed a concept that caught my focus. He wrote about his work with athletes and how one of the keys to success on the game field is to sharpen what he calls their focus style:
A focus style is a preference for paying attention to certain cues. Athletes tend to be more comfortable focusing on some cues and avoid or don’t pay attention to other cues. Every athlete has a dominant style that impacts all aspects of their sports performance. This dominant style will surface most noticeably when they’re under pressure.
Jim has even developed a useful tool so that athletes can get more control over where their attention is focused:
A Mag-Lite® is a flashlight whose beam can be adjusted to illuminate a wide area or to brighten a narrow area. Your focus can be thought of as a Mag-Lite® beam you project that illuminates on what you want to focus.
I really like this concept. When we approach getting our head in the career game, we need to decide where to place our focus.
Do we need to turn our beam to do a narrow job search or do we need to widen the beam to help us think outside the box.
What are your personal strengths?
A narrow beam would be getting a deeper understanding of your own personal strengths and then identify what types of jobs are most closely matched to those strengths.
Research shows that if we have a job that allows us to utilize our top strengths everyday, then we are much happier in that job. I work with clients on a number of great assessment tools on finding your personal and career strengths.
Where are jobs that match those strengths?
A wider beam would be taking your findings and applying them to your job search for available positions. This requires you to reach out and do Google searches for keywords and job descriptions as well as networking to unearth good opportunities.The point of these exercises is to find something that says to you, “I want to do this job.”