Many careers happen by accident. Life, financial and family circumstances lead us from one role to the next and one day we wake up with a jolt thinking ‘how did I get here?’ Many of my clients reach out to me because they are lost and together we create a strategy to find an enjoyable career, not just a job. Before you start to send out your resume or jump on a job board, take a moment to consider these ways to create a career strategy and find a role that will bring you lasting fulfillment.
Step back from your search. Instead of starting to send out your resume right away, take a moment to consider what you really want. You might be able to find a job quickly, but if you want to advance your career in a strategic way, or make a career change, it takes time and reflection. Use this time to create a list of companies, positions and industries that interest you most. Appreciate this opportunity to choose your next move, rather than letting it choose you.
Write your mission statement. It should answer the following questions: What do I do? Who do I do it for? How do I do it? Your career mission statement will act as an anchor in your decision-making process. Before accepting a job, check how it aligns with your mission.
Create a 5-year plan. Like your mission statement, your 5-year plan is there to create a foothold for your search. Return to the ideal plan you’ve created to gauge the suitability of your next position. Looking for your next move can be a frenzy of activity, opinions and advice. When opportunities arise, ask yourself, ‘will this job bring me closer to my ultimate goal?’
Find Your Strengths. People who use their strengths tend to be much happier in their jobs and in general. There are many ways to discover your strengths on your own. My recent articles, Tools to Identify Your Strengths, and Questions to Identify Your Strengths can provide you with valuable resources. I also recommend the book StrengthsFinder 2.0. Knowing your strengths can help you identify an opportunity that will be satisfying in the long run.
Before you start looking for your next role, use these steps to create a career strategy that will set you up to find the right opportunities, not just your next job.