I had the opportunity during the first few months of the year to speak at a few job seeker events. I also regularly spend one on one time with professionals who are looking for a new position or thinking about looking around. If you are unhappy in your current position then it’s time to do some thinking before you make a move – or it’s likely you’ll end up in an in a similar situation again.
Try this exercise. Get yourself in a good head space (whatever that means to you) and take an inventory of your career.
1. What was your favorite position? Why?
2. What was your least favorite position? Why?
3. Are there any similarities? What are they?
4. What are the biggest differences?
This is harder that it sounds. Once you get started you’ll know what I mean. Ok, now you have a bunch of random thoughts down -let’s do something with them.
Think about the characteristics of a job that would make you happy. Maybe it’s a short commute, visibility at the executive level, having a direct impact on customers, income, work schedule flexibility……this list is completely yours. This is your top ten. You are essentially writing your ideal job description.
Next, we need to identify the bottom 3. What three tasks that, if they were a big part of your next position would drive you crazy? Try not to make these antes of the top ten.
Once you have this list complete, record it and put it in a safe place. Now you have your ideal position… onward!
List your 5 greatest strengths. What do you consistent excel at in each of your career positions? What do you repeatedly get recognized for? Here’s a secret… Some of these may match components of your top 10 list. Also, you’ll need to identify the things that you aren’t good at. Although I believe that working to improve on some of your professional weaknesses is important in your personal growth, it’s not a good idea to look at positions that will cause you to work on them 40-50 hours per week. Let’s identify these things now so we don’t end up in a position where you dread going to work every day.
Let’s review: You have identified your ideal job; you’ve listed your strengths and weaknesses as a professional; now it’s time to refresh your resume so that (on paper) you look like the person you identified and are attractive to the position you want.
For this exercise, you may need another pair of eyes. Engage the help of a friend or family member who is also a hiring manager (accustomed to reading resumes). Does the information on your resume “speak” to the type of company and position that you identified in your top 10 list? Do the strengths you listed come out? Do you reveal your personality in the tone of your resume?
Take the time to remodel your electronic persona (resume and Linked In profile) to match you and your ideal position. I’m amazed at how many people talk to me about who they are and when I look at their resume, they convey a completely different message.
It’s actually quite remarkable! When you have truly identified the position you would love, where you excel as a professional and how you articulate it in your resume the opportunities you are REALLY looking for begin to reveal themselves. My best wishes for your success!
For more information on getting hired – and for a current list of job opportunities – visit us here.