Quit your job and start your career!

When it’s time to get into the job market or make a career change most of us prepare a standard cover letter and resume and send it out to as many companies as possible.  Then we sit and wait to see who bites. “The more resumes I send out the better chance someone will contact me, right?”  There are very few cases where this job search myth still rings true. In today’s confusing job market ask yourself if that method really gets you to start a career.

One good lead is better than 5 bad ones

With the progression of on line job hunting, the ease and speed we can apply for a ton of jobs at almost any company has never been better.  Although this is great for covering more ground in less time, I think we may have forgotten that it’s more efficient to get one good job lead than 5 mediocre ones.  Remember, quality is better than quantity when searching for a true career.

Here are some things to think about when looking for the right job.

  • Finding a job that will lead you to start a career starts with understanding your vision.  Before you start your job hunt answer these questions for yourself:
    • Where do I see myself 5 years from now?
    • What types of positions, industries and companies will take me closer to that vision?
    • What types of positions will take me further away from my vision?
  • Do your homework.  Research industries and companies that are within your vision and then determine what type of position you would like to do within them.
  • Apply for positions you are mostly qualified for, but can still learn a lot from.  It’s important to find positions that you’re confident you can be successful at, but offer enough challenge to help you grow to the next level of your career.
    • Use the 80/20 rule – When reading the requirements for a position you should be able to meet around 80% of them without any additional training while the remaining 20% will require some new learning
    • It will be easier to get a job that you can do with your eyes closed, but it won’t necessarily take you any closer to your career goals.
  • Let the company sell itself to you.  Of course, it’s important to show the interviewer how much value you bring to their organization, but it’s equally important to find out what the company can do for you.
    • Come to your interview prepared with a list of questions that demonstrate you are not just looking for a paycheck, but rather a long term fit.
      • What challenges do you foresee this position to have?
      • What types of growth opportunities does your company offer (I.e. leadership training, management positions, mentor programs, etc.)?

By following the steps above you’ll be able to look beyond finding your next paycheck and on your way to starting a great career!