If you’re in the market for a new job, you might be tempted to simply head to your favorite job boards and start sending off applications. But this can quickly become an exercise in frustration. Here are a few reasons why you should always make a job search plan before you get started.
Why is Having a Job Search Plan Important?
Identifying Your Goals (and Fears)
What do you actually want in the future? Too often, job seekers just chase immediate short-term rewards. While things like a steady paycheck are certainly necessary, taking a dead-end job just means that you’ll be back in the same position in a few months or years. Making a job search plan can help you determine the long-term career path you want. You can then take active steps to make it happen.
You’ll also start to figure out what’s been holding you back. What are you afraid of? Putting it all down on paper can help you start to overcome those fears.
Discovering Your Priorities
No job is perfect. But if you start by visualizing your absolute dream role, you can begin to identify what’s truly important to you. Take the time to think through all the little details. In your dream job, how long is your commute? Do you have a flexible schedule or standardized hours? What job tasks do you do every day?
Once you’ve really zeroed in on what an ideal role would look like, start prioritizing each item. You might find that you’re okay with driving further to a job that offers meaningful work, or that being off by the time your kids get out of school is non-negotiable. Now you can focus on the job opportunities that truly fit your priorities.
Narrowing Your Options
The ultimate goal of a job search plan is to narrow your focus to the jobs that are the right fit. Look for a position that matches your priorities while also helping you take the next step toward your long-term goals. This will help you save time and effort in your job search, while also lessening the likelihood of looking for yet another job in the near future.