When was the day you decided to change your life and seize that next opportunity? Maybe it was this morning. Maybe you jumped out of bed, poured yourself an enormous cup of coffee and committed to hitting the job search hard. After all, how difficult could it be? It’s as easy as throwing together a résumé and applying to some online job postings, right?
Wrong. Unless, of course, you like spending a lot of time job searching and enjoy feeling frustrated with the entire process.
If you’re serious about finding your next dream job, you need a plan. But not just any plan—a plan that reflects who you are, what you want and what you can do. Start creating a job search action plan that gets results by answering the three questions below.
- Who are you?
What makes you, you? What personality traits and characteristics shine through in your work and your interactions with others? These are clues that can point you toward your dream job and help you get the most satisfaction out of your career.
- What do you want?
What kind of working environment and working conditions do you prefer? What kind of lifestyle do you want? What are your personal values and priorities, and how can you integrate these into your work and career? Taking the time to think these through questions can help you pinpoint the types of jobs and workplaces that might be best for you.
Visit the ALIS website for help identifying your work values and preferred working conditions. Explore your interests and how these link to various careers with the Canada Job Bank Interest Quiz, O*Net’s Interest Profiler, CareerWise’s Career Cluster Interest Survey or ALIS’s Interests Exercise.
- What can you do?
When job searching, we often think about the job we want first, then work backwards to see what skills we need. You can definitely do it this way, but why not change your approach? Start by taking an inventory of the skills you already possess. Then, identify a range of jobs and careers where those skills are required. You might even discover a career that you never knew existed and where your skills are in serious demand!
To pitch yourself effectively to employers, create an inventory of your skills. For help with this, visit the Canada Job Bank Skills and Knowledge Checklist or Abilities Quiz, as well as ALIS’s Skills Quiz. You can also complete a skills self-assessment on the Government of Ontario’s website.
If you’re ready to see results, answer these three questions well and build your job search action plan around them. Knowing who you are, what you want, and what you can do is the key to eliminating job search frustration and achieving overall job search success.