4 Steps to Finding Direction in Your Job Search

A friend told me about driving a long open stretch of highway in Idaho and seeing a sign along the roadside: “You Sure Are Lost, But You’re Making Great Time!”

road-4539_640Are you making great time, but wondering if you’re headed in the right direction? It may help you to figure out where you are and where you want to go by stepping back and asking yourself a few questions.

Generally, taking this step back is the first forward step toward building a solid list of jobs that you’ll love and where you’ll thrive.

So what are the 4 steps to finding direction? You may notice that the title of this post did not say 4 “easy” steps. That’s not to say that the work involved is hard, but it does require work and some concentrated thought.

  1. First, you need to study how you’re built. We’re all built uniquely with different combinations of passions, personality, talents, experiences and values. Take some time to dig deep into yours. As you do, you’ll broaden your view beyond simply choosing a career that matches what you’ve done and where you’ve done it. And you also narrow your view to those companies and jobs that truly fit who you are and let thrive by being yourself. Along your path consider some of the free personality assessments available on the internet. Google the topic or visit the for example, the Job Hunter’s Bible site.
  1. Once you have studied how you’re built, build your job criteria. Take what you have learned about yourself and prioritize it to match up with job opportunities. Pick the most important traits how you’re built, put them together and rank them.
  1. Next, identify your options. Explore occupations and Labor Market Information to choose job types that will fit who you are. Try the My Skills My Future (myskillsmyfuture.org) site, a free tool, from the US Department of Labor, to match your skills and prior jobs to other jobs that will likely fit you well. Also use this tool to develop key words employer use to match your resume to open jobs.
  1. Your last step to finding direction is looking for ways to fill in any skills gaps by gaining knowledge and experience. Job shadowing, volunteering, internships, freelancing or taking temporary jobs may all be a great fit for you. Be creative and have fun.

Once you’ve done the work, don’t forget to create your action plan and follow it. It’s not enough to know the path you also need to map it out and walk it.

Stay strong, stay focused and you will increase your chance of landing that dream job that fits how you’ve been uniquely built.

Visit us at http://www.nextjob.com/scholarships/recent-grads/ for free access to our jobseekers toolkit and create your own action plan. (Available for a limited time.)

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