Your Job Search – Getting Ready

Chart Your Goals – Personal and Professional

The first step of a successful job hunt is determining who you are and what your likes and dislikes are. A good way to do this is to write out your goals, both immediate and future.

Begin by making a list of your broad personal goals. Consider not only job-related goals such as how much money you wish to earn, but also aspirations in relation to your family, leisure time, education, or personal growth. A librarian we know chose his job by asking himself what he enjoyed doing most on a Saturday afternoon. His response was, “I like to go to the library.” He now enjoys his job as much as anyone we know. Where do you feel most at home? What do you most enjoy doing? By beginning with questions like these, your job search will be guided by your personal goals and values rather than by outside pressures or what seems convenient. Self-assessment is essential to focusing your job search.

Obviously, there are no right or wrong answers in this kind of exercise. The idea is to help you translate your objectives and values into rewarding jobs and careers. When listing goals, keep in mind that they are your own and no one else’s. They don’t need to be grand to be significant; in fact, it’s important that goals be attainable, so keep them reasonable and specific. Also, keep in mind that your goals can and will change. In five years, you might repeat this exercise and come up with a completely different list.

For this exercise ask yourself: What results do I want to achieve? What do I want to be remembered for? What would I want people to say about me and my life? Try to write down at least four or five goals in each of the following categories:

  • Type of industry
  • Geographic location
  • Commuting time
  • Personal growth
  • Travel opportunities
  • Fringe benefits
  • Creativity
  • Responsibilities


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