Whether you’ve just begun looking for a job or have been consistently unsuccessful in getting a response, this article is dedicated to you. You’re exhausted, frustrated, and a whisker away from giving up – we hear you. But we’d also like to ask, are you asking the right questions?
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Looking for a job is never as simple as just looking for it. It’s a systematic process that involves strategy, analysis, and action. Focus and patience also play a role, as you might have already discovered. One has to constantly improvise and alter the plan of action to make the job search truly effective. Sounds like a Black Ops mission? If that’s what it takes to make the process more interesting, then sure, pull out the guns.
To get from seeking a job to actually landing one, you need to know the what, the why, and the how of it. Asking yourself the right questions will make your goal and your path crystal clear so that not only will you get a job quickly, you will also get the right one. So, are you asking yourself these questions?
What are my priorities?
Before applying or even looking for a job, it is important to know what you want from it. Is it only financial stability or something more, like growth and job satisfaction? How much of your time, and therefore, your life are you willing to put into a job? The answers to these will tell you the compromises you’re willing to make and the one’s you’re not. They will decide your motivation and the steps that will follow this job in your career. They will also give you a clear idea of the industry that best suits your needs.
Is my resume telling the right story?
Your resume is going to speak for you and will create the first impression. You may have all the qualifications needed for the job you’re applying to, but does your resume communicate that effectively? Who you are should be exactly what your resume portrays. It should read like a story where your qualifications and experiences form the narrative. A badly constructed resume is like a novel with a mind-numbing plot and boring characters. Go over your resume and ensure that you’re not being lazy in constructing the right story.
What skills am I lacking, and how do I get them?
Like we said before, a resume should be the reflection of your professional image. But there’s only so much it can communicate if your image itself is unimpressive. After having applied for several jobs, you will have seen a common set of requirements that recruiters are looking for, and that which you might be lacking. Address this immediately and make the necessary changes. An understanding of the industry too will give you a good idea about the skills you might need to pick up. You could apply for internships, study for online certification or even go back to studying full-time. Knowing which of these works best will again depend on knowing what your priorities are in the first place.
Am I still in my comfort zone?
Many times we become victims of our own deceptions and convince ourselves that we’re doing everything we can; because the truth will mean getting uncomfortable. Since seeking a job is uncomfortable on its own, it’ll take a more than a little push to do what’s necessary. Are you trying multiple ways to look for a job and to get a response? Are you engaging in networking opportunities, utilising all the platforms like social media? Are you going out of your way to get someone’s attention? Answers to these will be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to the first question, and they should tell you if you really are doing everything you can to get that job.
Am I looking for the right jobs?
Understandably, you’ve been caught up in living up to the expectations of job requirements, but stop and ask yourself – is the job description living up to your expectations? Blind targeting will make you feel better now about having tried for whatever’s available. But grabbing whatever you can get hold of will prove to be a bad idea in the long run; and frankly, it’s a little insulting to your own capabilities. It doesn’t hurt to be a little selective in finding a job that could be the right fit for you. Find out about the company’s work culture, whether or not their timing’s are flexible, and anything else that you think might gel with your personality. What is the point in getting a job if you’re going to hate it later on, right?
Once you make the habit of continuously assessing your efforts with these questions, you will then only need to do one other thing – keep calm, and keep looking.