The first step in looking for a new job is to plan your job search. You’ll learn how to make a job search plan, how to create a job search strategy, and what steps are needed to take your search to the next level.
Before you can get to where you are going, you need to know where you are starting from.
We’re not just talking about previous jobs here. Gaining an in-depth understanding of who you are will allow you to target the right roles for you in a much more meaningful way.
Through this article you’ll learn how to plan your job search by creating a job search action plan and a job search schedule.
Here are the general steps to creating your job search plan:
Determine what your current work style, values, skills and interests
Understand your work style
Identify the most important work values to you
Create your job search action plan
Construct a job search schedule
Iterate and improve
Determine what your current work style, values, skills and interests are:
To inform your job search plan, you’ll want to make a running list of your work style, values, skills and interests.
These are defined as:
Work Style: Your personality and behavioral traits
Skills: Your natural strengths and acquired abilities
Values: Your key drivers that motivate you and define what is most important to you in your work and life
Interests: The things you enjoy professionally and personally
Document your work style, values, skills and interests so that way there is a written and referenceable record of what you are going to look for in a new position.
The place where you'll find fulfilling work is at the intersection of your work style, values, skills, and interests.
Understanding your work style
We recommend that you gain an understanding of your specific work style and how that affects your professional life.
If you’ve heard of the Myers Briggs, DISC, Colors, or Enneagram personality tests, you know what we are talking about.
The problem with these assessments is that they put you into a bucket when in reality, one person has many styles depending on the situation.
We’ve partnered with Pamela Cole, who has spent 30 years studying human behavior, to create a workstyles personality assessments that teaches you how to be more aware of your tendencies and play to your strengths.
Our work styles assessment helps you dive deep into what types of environments will be energizing as well as draining.
Here’s a brief example of my work style.
This tells me that my descriptors are direct, competitive, and impatient. When I get stressed, I tend to lean towards being talkative, trusting, and approachable.
You can take the quiz here to understand your work style and how it affects your professional life.
Understanding your values
Another aspect that is important to think about as you are planning your job search is to clarify and prioritize your values
Values are your key drivers that motivate you and define what is most important to you in your work and life.
When people are unhappy in their jobs, many times it is related to their job not being aligned to their values.
For example: Someone who feels burned out might have “work life balance” as a main value and be working in a job that bleeds into their evening and weekends.
Here is a basic list of values. Take a look at this list and think about what is most important to you.
Environment - The context in which you work
Relationship - The interaction you seek at work
Identity - How you want to be regarded at work
Income - Financial needs or expectations
Balance - Priorities outside of work
Purpose: The reasons you get out of bed to work
If you’re having trouble identifying which values are the most important to you, we recommend trying a value-card sorting exercise.
How to make a job search plan
When creating your job search action plan, the main things you’ll want to organize are information and your time.