Abraham Lincoln has a great quote about the importance of preparation, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
In order to be successful in your career search, you will need this same dedication and preparation to doing a job right—and sharpen your axe before starting to apply for open positions.Whether you use the services of an employment agency such as AppleOne or conduct your own job search, it is imperative to understand who you are, what skills you have and what you want in your career.
The best way to develop this full understanding of yourself is to ask yourself these two simple questions:
- How strong and how relevant are my current skills?
- What exactly do I want from my work?
How strong and how relevant are my current skills
Laying out your strengths and the relevancy of your current skills will give you a very good idea of what you bring to the job market. The job market is changing quickly and it is still a buyers market which means that there are many more job seekers than available jobs in most geographic regions. When you do a critical self-assessment of your skills and strengths, you will be able to realistically know which jobs or positions are directly in your “sweet spot”. If you need help with analyzing your skills, talk to some of your previous colleagues, family members and friends and ask them for an honest assessment. Not only will you be able to compare and contrast their opinions, but you will be practicing your networking skills.
What exactly do I want from my work?
When examining what you want from your work, you should honestly analyze exactly all of the things you want from work. Some of them may be realistic and others may be unrealistic — but you should capture as many ideas as possible in order to get a clear picture of what’s important or what is just a nice-to-have thing. If you have a realistic item on your checklist, you should also note the date by when you think it can happen. Your non-realistic things are just as important as your realistic dreams as they represent dreams…and dreams today can become reality tomorrow.
Use our example worksheets to get a quick start
To simplify your search, we have excerpted two worksheets out of Janice Bryant Howroyd’s The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work for You. Janice is the CEO of ACT-1 Group which is the parent company of AppleOne.
You can view the worksheets below or download and print the worksheets from Slideshare.