You know you want to move on. You refresh your CV, You send it out to a recruiter, you register on some websites and wait for the phone to ring.
Although this is what many candidates do - it’s not the best way to start. Have you really considered what types of roles you’re interested in? What kind of company you want to work in? Do you want to travel for two hours every day?
Too many job hunters don’t think about particulars before they start the hunt. If the first part of the search is spent carefully considering where you want to be and what you want to do the rest will be much easier. Some careful and honest thought, up front, can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. It will make it easier for you to weed out opportunities and focus your attention on the really juicy ones.
What was great in your past roles?
This is good place to start. If you enjoyed training others even though that wasn’t the main part of your role, you have something you can explore further. If you enjoyed managing people or analysing numbers add that to your list. It’s important that you focus on what you enjoyed rather than solely on what you are good at. It may be that they are the same, however in some cases you may be on the edge of finding a new passion that you have not yet excelled that you will excel if you put time energy into it. These make excellent basis for your next role as such areas will allow you to learn and grow in the direction of your interests. If you only focus at what you are good at, you will miss those growth areas. Be clear on what you bring to the table and what you want to learn.
What was boring for you in past roles?
If you haven’t enjoyed it before you’re unlikely to enjoy it even if you change companies and job titles. There are always aspects of a job that you may not enjoy but are unavoidable. However it’s important to ensure that such activities are kept to a minimum. Again you may be good at a role but if you do not enjoy it will drain away energy.
What type of organization do you want to be a part of?
This is a key question. Think of companies you admire. We spend most of our waking time at work. You will be seeing your colleagues more often than you see your friends. What type of people do you want to be surrounded by? Aside from the people the culture of the company is important. Do you enjoy having a very structured approach? Would you prefer a place where you have free reign on your role? How important are other issues such as their CSR agenda or the direction the firm is headed? Think about what time of company you would enjoy spending at least 8 hours a day in.
The other important questions; do you want a job that requires frequent travel? How will you be commuting to work? How long is too long to commute?
These may not seem too important when you start looking yet these are the everyday factors that will affect how much you enjoy your role as much as the role itself. Knowing what you want is the first towards getting it right. Be sure to prioritize as well, so think about which aspects are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves.
Finally be ruthless in throwing out the weeds to find your dream role. If you are clear on your desires to start with this will be easy to do and much easier for others to help you as well.