How come that the most important thing in a job search is always the most difficult?. Maybe you just finished your latest working experience like me and very recent memories of what you have done have a lot of impact in your future job definition. Maybe you are long-term job searching confused in defining your target after many interviews. Bad news for you, the target is the most important thing, because depending on the job target you need to define your approach to the market. Also it must be clear before defining a job search strategy.
Now we come to the “open your mind” point. To my situation, it has helped me a lot the book of Joshua Waldman about job search in social media (yes for dummies). Like it is mentioned in the book remember always: “You’re not defined by your job title nor confined by your job description”. So do not reduce your options to your last position in future career definition.
So, the first question comes, what do you want to be in the next years?. You will probably find yourself struggling with many answers. Many influences by the “what if?” before. Don’t forget there are many emotions and dreams behind. Don’t skip any idea please at this stage. Please note all the options.
Another important point mentioned in the book is the inner analysis about your competences and skills, are you good seller? Are you good in negotiation? what are you good at? (and always think why, try to find examples for all competences and skills). Competences and skills do matter because they are normally referenced to positions. LinkedIn helps you on Skills definition also among other webs. If you are not sure you can check people with similar positions and industry, which ones they show as skills. Benchmarking is always good. But in the end is you. Be ready to skip positions because you do not have competences, we are not able to do all positions.
In order to easily approach to everyone’s inner intentions, you might consider to find support externally, that can be a good option. There is a very good career redesign course in ESADE Business school by the Coach Maite Usón (which I strongly recommend to everyone not only for the contents but also for the teacher). There, I have learnt how to define a target more accurately (among other activities in career redefinition).
So coming back to the point of the target, the good news for you is that there are not so many options, you can have three type of career changes: continuity (same job same sectoral activity), laterally (different job same sectoral activity) and motivational changes (different job in different sectoral activity).
So you need to sit down with yourself with all your noted career options, your skills and estimate possible positions in different areas of companies/industries. Do not forget to check if they match with your skills. With all spoken before you should be able to come back and say Option 1: “I want to be a…. in the industry/business of….” Option 2:…” These is/are the target(s).
Obviously everything is much more complicated to explain in less than 500 words, but my target with this post was to show you the options there are, open your mind, and some approach on how to do it from my experience.