Short and Sweet #6: What to do before you start looking for a job?

7 months ago, David Sweet


Hi and welcome to episode 6 of Short and Sweet.

Today we will talk about what to do before you start looking for a job? Many people come to our office and already thinking about changing jobs but haven’t given it that much thought. What I found are following 5 simple steps, prior to your job search.

The first, and most important thing to do, is to know what you want to do. Sit down with a pen and paper and think through, what it is you want in an ideal job. What do you want to do in the next job and in you career? One of the questions I often ask candidates is not what you want to do for your next job, but for the job following that one, maybe 5 year later. Because it gets people to start thinking creatively about their job search, and using the next job as a stepping stone. So that when they go into interviews they can really ask pertinent questions to companies that they know about how their career can progress.

The second point which follows from the first is, what don’t you want to do? It’s important to mark down the things that are non-negotiable, that you won’t do for your next job. Are there certain operational tasks that you just don’t like to do anymore, or you just don’t want to manage anymore, or perhaps there’s certain functions of your job that you feel just won’t work for you to get where you want to go. Think a minute about what you don’t want to do.

The third part is a bit of online research. Go on to some job boards and company websites and take a look and find out what some job titles are, some job duties, find out what is out there already in the job market. This isn’t necessarily the time to apply for jobs, but to really research and see what companies are logging for. It’s important to remember at this point that many of the jobs that are available in the market are not posted on websites and job boards. Only a small fraction of the jobs available are there. Many times companies will be looking for positions they don’t advertise. Just using this as preliminary research to find out what is being advertised.

Next, is “how will you find that job?” Will you use recruiters, will you use job boards, friends, family, it is important to think through the process that you’ll use.

And then the last steps and I think it’s one of the most important is before you go out and start look for a job, speak to you employer; talk to them and find out are some of the tasks that you’re wanting to do for your next job available for you now. Does your current employer know that you might be unhappy with your current position? Do they know that you’re ambitious and want to move ahead? Those are important questions to have before you go and look for a new job. I think many people change jobs unnecessarily. The company that they’re working for now, they know the good and the bad, and they know the systems that they have. So if they stayed there they might be able to progress a little bit faster then if they go to another company. So its always good to sit down, have a very open, frank conversation with your manager. And then if that doesn’t work, start looking for a new job.

So those are 5 steps to take a look at prior to going into your job search. I hope you found that useful. Thank you.