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Today’s job market is hyper-competitive. Depending on your field, it can also be stagnant with few openings. In these instances and all others it’s very important that you know what you want out of your career so when you see a job opportunity you can recognize it and grab it by the horns.
Internal confusion and discouragement is understandable if you’re unemployed or miserably employed, but overcoming these feelings is essential or you will not be able to focus effectively on your job search.
Carol Watkins has ten tips to focus your life before focusing on your career:
- Know yourself: Take inventory of your talents, skills, values, and interests. Ask yourself: What am I good at?
- Be open to change: Gain confidence by familiarizing yourself with the stages of transition. Ask: How will the next stages of my life be different than others I’ve experienced?
- Research: Read high quality resources to learn and grow. Ask: What interests me?
- Investigate: Conduct informational interviews. Ask: Who can I interview who is doing work I am interested in? Whose advice would I value?
- Experiment: Create volunteering experiences. Ask: What career field could I explore through volunteering?
- Reflect: Consider your inner desires. Ask: What’s most important to me as I transition to this next chapter?
- Figure out the money: Ask: What will be my practical needs and how can I ensure they will be addressed?
- Strengthen your wellbeing — physically, mentally and spiritually. Ask: What can I put at the top of my to-do list to make my wellbeing a priority?
- Network: Don’t go it alone. Find and engage with people who can be influential in your job search. Ask: How can I develop relationships with these people?
- Upgrade your education and skills: Check out what your local community college or adult education organizations offer to help you attain your career goals. Ask: How can I improve my skills, be retrained, explore new interests, pursue talents, or brush up on technology?