Photo from Robert Half
We all wrote the little paragraph in 3rd grade – “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” And we had lots of people come and talk to us – firemen, doctors, policeman, engineers, scientists, journalists, etc. Life was so simple, and the choices seemed so easy. This was all before the complexities and realities of life hit us and we really had to get serious about a career.
Now, here you are – either looking for that entry level position as you get ready to graduate or looking to change positions because you are not satisfied with your current one. Conducting a job search to find the best “fit” for you will involve a bit more than, “Gee, that sounds interesting.” Here are 6 pretty important tips as you launch your search.
Shakespeare said it best - “To thine own self be true.” You have to understand a number of things about yourself. How do you work best? What type of company “culture” best suits you? Do you prefer to work alone or as a team member? Do you need flexibility or are you more comfortable in a stricter work environment? You may have some pretty strong “clues” about this, but a solid self-assessment should occur. Fortunately, there are a number of free online resources to take self-assessment quizzes that will give you insights into your “work personality” so that you can evaluate any job opportunity that you may be considering.
What is the purpose for locating this job at this point in your life? If you just want something to pay the bills while you really pursue other career avenues (e.g., entrepreneurship), then submit your resume to recruiters. They’ll find you something.
While there are lots of sites for establishing you professional presence, LinkedIn is still one of the best online resources for searching a job. Prepare a really “killer” profile, join some of the groups related to your career niche and begin to network. LinkedIn also operates as a career position clearinghouse, so be certain that your profile presents you in a really compelling way. If you are not sure how to market yourself well, there are pros all over the web who can help you create your profile.
There are hundreds and many of them are niche-specific. It certainly will not hurt to have your resume posted on as many of these job boards as possible, because you never know where an opportunity might pop up.
Photo from Bloomberg
If you are not looking in desperation, then take the time to do the right research on a company or organization before you even submit a resume or accept an interview. If you are looking for a long-term relationship with an organization/company, then you have to determine if the “culture” is a fit for your needs. If you are a polo shirt/jeans kind of person, then obviously a conservative company such as a bank is not for you. So, why would you waste your time and theirs? If you love structure and discipline, then a new web startup is probably not for you.
While there is certainly something to be said for the type of networking that occurs on sites such as LinkedIn, there is also great value in networking among friends from college, peers with whom you have worked in the past, distant relatives, etc. if you get the word out that you are looking and what you are looking for, it is certainly possible that, within the networks of these people, there may be a great opportunity.
Many of us spend more time researching information for a car purchase than we do looking for that career position that will be a really good fit. It’s really time to get the priorities in place, understand the immediate and long-term needs, and seek a career position that is going to bring the greatest satisfaction. There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning without enthusiasm for the work day ahead.
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