Many job seekers believe that focusing on the present will guarantee progress in the future. Sure, putting all your energy in what you post on your social networks, where you send your resumes, or how you conduct yourself at a networking event is important. However, are you thinking of the bigger picture? That is, are you thinking about how the actions of today will play out in your future?
Job seekers should all ask themselves one crucial question: If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you expect to get there efficiently?
Additionally, we all know the job search can be a long, arduous process. But, it doesn’t have to be if you know where you want to end up in the long run. Think of it as starting at the finish line and working your way backwards. What are you doing now to ensure you get there?
It may be a good idea to take the time to pinpoint not only your interests, but also how you can translate those interests into positive, professional actions. How do you do this?
- Evaluate yourself and your profession. Before you begin to look at the bigger picture, be sure to evaluate yourself and your profession by using tools like My Next Move and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That way, you’ll be able to position yourself better in your job search, present and future.
- Create a job search plan. Creating a job search plan can be very beneficial to your career. Ask yourself where you want to be in a few years, if your industry will be around in a the near future or if it’s a dying breed, the skills you need to have to stand out, where your profession is most active (both online and offline), and more. Answering these questions and then focusing your search accordingly will help direct your hunt.
- Find a mentor and let them guide you. Sometimes, you just need a second opinion. Having an experienced mentor in your field not only helps you connect with another professional, but it also teaches you a thing or two about your profession—ultimately, giving you a better look at the bigger picture. Letting a mentor guide you can also give you some powerful insight on how you can reach your goals, something that they’ve probably been through before.
- Be honest with yourself. Your professional life will never reach its fullest if you’re not honest with yourself. It’s important to be in the right state of mind when conducting your search for a myriad of reasons—none more important than this: you don’t want to wake up in 10 years only to realize that you’re not where you want to be, particularly if it could have been avoided. Your future self will thank you if you’re honest.
When it comes down to it, every job seeker should re-evaluate his or her standing in the job hunt. Make sure yours includes the bigger picture…and how you’re going to get there.
If you’re a job seeker, how do you look at the bigger picture?