1.2   Job Seeking and Career Planning is a Journey.   This is the path you will follow

There are four basic elements to the process of finding the perfect job:
  • Self-Assessment
  • Researching Career Options
  • Job Search Strategy
  • Presenting yourself
Most people just want to write a resume and get it out on the web, or just file an application and be done with it. This is not a serious approach to job seeking.

Before you write your resume or file that application, you need to go through the preliminary steps that are essential to finding the right job. You have to seriously engage the process of self-assessment and career exploration. You have to research the market and research your options. When you present yourself in writing or in person, you need to be focused on the needs and expectations of particular employers you have identified through a strategic job search.

The first step on your journey is self-assessment. The purpose of doing a self-assessment is to make certain that you understand what you really want to do. You need to discover what type of work will actually allow you to thrive. This involves a careful look at your strengths, your interests, your goals, and your values. It also involves an assessment of your skills, focusing on your most motivated skills. It is certain that you can do many things, but you need to know which skills you really enjoy using and are motivated to use. We will focus on what you love and will find a path to the right job, rather that just any job.

If you take time to focus introspectively, you will get clues about what you do well and you will start to think about yourself in all new ways. It is empowering to be able to focus on what you love. You will learn about yourself, and in the process you will discover your options. You will begin to discover the possibilities.

The next step is to research your options. You need to carefully research your career options so that you don’t limit yourself without good reason. Most people do not really know what exists out there. You don’t want to rule-out possibilities, simply because you weren’t aware of them. You want to be certain that you will be able to recognize the job that fits you when you find it.

Next, you need to develop a job search strategy. The knowledge you gain from self-assessment and research is critical to the development of a job search strategy.

When Alice in Wonderland asked the Cheshire Cat: “would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”

The Cat responded: “that depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

The job search strategy is actually much the same as the research process. The idea is that as you go about researching your options, you should be able to find jobs that you want to pursue and to find employers who will want to hire you.

The final step in the process is to hone your presentation and present yourself, on paper and in person. What you learn through self-assessment and career research is critical to your self-presentation and your effectiveness in securing the position you want. You need to be prepared to tell an employer that you have the skills they are looking for, that you have used them before, and that you are motivated to perform. After you have convinced them of all of that, you need to convince them that you are well worth the salary you are going to negotiate.