What job do i want anyway?

The most important question of they whole job search process, is of course one you ask yourself; what job do I want?

Look around on your way to work, or while you sit at your desk. Look at the faces of the people you see. Do they look like they are where they want to be? Do they look like they are in a role that inspires them, a job they would choose again if they had their time over? Or are they simply trying to kill time before the end of the day, wishing the days away and living for the weekend? Unfortunately its probably more of the latter. I think there is something wrong.

I remember starting one role with my usual enthusiasm and talking to the old timers about what they did. I wish I’d never bothered. “Moan, moan, moan” was all I heard, which raises the question, why were they there? And why on earth didn’t they leave? One of these people was in their sixties! I expect they’ve wasted their whole career moaning about what they do. Don’t let that be you.

I’ve come to see there are two main reasons people end up in this situation;

1) They don’t know the answer to the question what job do I want?

2) Even if they do know the answer, they don’t believe in their ability to go out and make it happen.

Right here we are going to look at the importance of the question what job do I want to the success of your job search, and to your future happiness.

The importance of a clear goal

Having a clear job search objective is crucial. If you don’t have a target, how will you hit it? Often people set off in the job hunt with aims that are too vague, like “I want more money”. Really? Is that all you want? I’d wager that if I offered to add 5% to your earnings to become a front line soldier somewhere, you might have to think twice. If money was the only motivation of everyone we'd see a lot more bank robbers I’m sure. Be honest, you want more than that (unless you actually are a bank robber!). See, we often want more than we think we do.

People use the "I want more money" copout because;

1) its acceptable; noone will question you for saying you want more money, whereas admitting you actually want a job that uses your skills as a dancer may raise a few eyebrows.

2) it stops them having to spend anytime actually thinking, and allows them to abdicate responsibility: it doesnt work out? Just blame the boss.

The need for active career management

If you want to be happy, the best bet is for you to take control of your direction, to manage your own career. The time to start is now. Take action, and commit to getting this right, everything you get will be built on this foundation. So take the time necessary to really figure out who you are and what is right for you. Its time to STOP AND THINK. The direction you take from here is a big deal. Show it some respect.

Now though it might seem a daunting task, here are a few ideas to help you on your way deciding what you want.

The internet

Obviously as you‘re reading this, I‘m probably preaching to the converted on this one. So make use of the net for researching jobs and roles you want to learn more about. We can now access so much more info than previous generations. Use it. Investigate, learn and get inspired.

People you may know

How about using an informational interview or work shadowing for that in the trenches experience? I was very lucky to get the chance to do this in my youth when I was thinking about pursuing a career in law. The honesty and openness of my subject actually helped me decide it wasn’t for me. If you get the chance to do this, grab it.

Get to know yourself

This is all about you after all. Put your thinking cap on and think about where you have succeeded in the past in life (note, not career, life). You tend to find you’re successes also happen to be in the things you enjoy doing. A great book I used to help me with this exercise was Colin Turner's Born to Succeed. When you really "get” yourself it will be worthwhile process. Guaranteed.

When you’re ready to answer the question of what job do I want, its time to set your job search objectives.

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