Before the Job Hunt

Often people get it backwards. They arrive at a time in their lives when they need a new job then the first thing they do is look for job openings. It may seem logical but it is not the most beneficial way to go about it. Many of those jobs are not a good match for one reason or another. If they are not a match then they are just distractions.

Instead, flip the process around and begin with yourself. Engage in some pre-job hunt career research. Career research is a process of getting in-depth knowledge of yourself and an idea of where your skills and interests best fit into the career landscape. The purpose of career research is to develop a career strategy and job hunt plan. So the process looks like this instead:

  1. Begin with self-awareness
  2. Study occupations
  3. Then industry trends
  4. Then company culture and job openings.

There are strong advantages to working a job hunt from this angle. First is that you will get a better understanding of your personal brand along the way. You will be able to strategically network with others knowing what you want them to remember about you. You also gain a deep understanding what makes your heart sing and will be able to zoom in on opportunities that are more likely to work optimally for you. Lastly, you will come from a position of passion in job interviews and will be more convincing and so more likely to win the offer.

A good place to start is with this career aptitude test based on the Holland Codes. It’s good, it’s quick, and it’s free. The results are useful and interesting. The same website also has some excellent career research resources. I love the way the information on each job title is presented. It’s easy to read, short and sweet, and particularly relevant. Of course, O*Net is a very good resource for career research as well.

SHOW NOTES: Can you fully participate in the day-to-day process of your career management? Learning, researching, and thinking a little every day about potential and opportunity is what career development is all about. Most people are happiest working in a field that uses their natural talents and favorite skills and where their passion for the work is energizing. You can have that too! In this Sparkscast, Stevie talks a little about bit about career development and what she calls career tracking. Stevie also walks you through self-selecting your own MBTI® personality type as a little bonus.

SHOW NOTES:
O*Net
Career Development Book Recommendations

Listen in as Stevie is interviewed by Shahrzad Arasteh, a holistic career counselor out of Baltimore, Maryland. Shahrzad brought many career development experts together in a unique project to create the book Nourish Your Career. Check out her website at NourishYourCareer.com to hear top tips from other featured contributors to the book as well.

Interview 1 – Shahrzad asks me to give my top tips for job search and career development.

We venture into topics like:

  • personal career development as an inherently selfish process
  • the benefits of keeping a career portfolio and tips on how to do it
  • how to better endure the job search process which often runs longer than expected.

If you enjoyed this interview (Shahrzad is a great interviewer!), listen to our second interview about using intuition in your career.