Lists: A Better Way to Plan Your Job Search

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

What if the three lists suggested by Seth Godin to start a project, were done by you at the start of the Job Search?  How would this change your approach?  This is how I could see the three lists translating:

  1. List all the things that need to be true in order for you to get your ideal job.
  2. List all the skills you already have and the skills you can improve on or still need to acquire.
  3. List what you are afraid of including what is out of your control.

Need to be True

Considering what needs to be true in order for you to get your ideal job can also be done if all you need is a good job if that is the next logical step.  I have known people who have had a string of difficult jobs, and that means what they really need now is a good work experience. Identifying what you need to have happen is important, but also consider what you may need to change in terms of your approach.  If you see the job market as difficult, consider why you think that is.  I challenge anyone who tells me how hard it is to find good work in a college or retirement town to consider that the nature of we work has changed.  We learn in school to be employees but few are trained to be employers.  This training must be intentionally sought, which may in fact be a weeding out process.

If we stopped thinking in terms of a job to sustain us, and thought in terms of an entrepreneur doing work that fuels us, would that change our approach to the job market? For me that word – entrepreneur – means that instead of waiting to be recognized I would have to go out in search of recognition; instead of doing what I’m told or waiting to be told, I would take the initiative; instead of waiting to be promoted I would create the next career-defining move whether that is outside a company or within the same company.  In fact, networking in person or on LinkedIn is not just for finding your next job, it can be for finding (or creating) your next promotion.

What needs to be true for you to take the next step?

Acquired and Developing Skills

The skills you have can go on your resume, the skills you can improve are an opportunity.  If you know where you can improve this can keep you humble and give you a chance to demonstrate a need to grow.  You can stay there — in that need — or you can create a plan to grow.  By developing your skills you change the conversation about yourself to what you are doing rather than what you could do to improve.  This plan for improvement can also be a great way to stay motivated during the marathon of a Job Search.

What skills could you develop as a way to improve your chances of getting your ideal job?

False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear as an acronym helps me to remember that all the things that I am afraid of are either not real or only have the power I give them.  Naming your fear can help dissipate it, but more importantly, can help you shift focus from hiding to moving forward.  It is also important, as Seth points out, to look at what is out of your control because then you can consider if worrying about it helps or hurts your cause.

How is fear holding you back?

About Tiffany A. Dedeaux

Tiffany is an ICF Career Coach and a cross-pollinator of ideas with a background in broadcast journalism, social and ecopsychology, and coaching. Tiffany’s nearly two decades of experience has helped her to identify the power of story in connecting us to each other as well as to our environment. A believer in the power of reflection, practical application, and celebrating victories, Tiffany understands that the more we all live our dream, the more we can model it for future generations.
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