Will you be looking for a new job in 2013? With the economy looking promising – at least for now – you may be joined by many who are starting 2013 in full gear to find that “right” job. But before you begin networking, take time to define your “right” job.
The least effective way to network when looking for a job is saying, “I’m looking for anything.” Why is this statement ineffective? It doesn’t give your connection enough information to help you. It also makes you sound desperate (even if you are desperate, remember don’t let them see you sweat).
To begin defining your “right” job, here are some questions to think about so you can better articulate what you want:
1- Which industry am I pursuing?
You may decide to stay in your current industry. Or you may decide to branch out into a new industry. If you are moving into a new industry, it is imperative to understand your transferable skills. These skills can be used in any industry – for example, sales, marketing, accounting, management.
2- What type of role (e.g., entry-level account representative, sales manager) do I want?
Be realistic. If you recently graduated, targeting a senior-level position will set yourself up for failure.
3- What responsibilities should my “right” job have?
Organizations may use different job titles for a role you are targeting. For this reason, it is important to define the responsibilities you are looking for in your “right” job. Look at job descriptions for jobs that interest you to collect ideas. This additional information will help you determine if a job opportunity is really the right fit for you.
4- What companies do I want to work for?
If you don’t have a list of companies you’re targeting, then Google your industry and location. This search will help identify companies you may want to consider.
5- Where do I want to work?
Are you willing to relocate? If you live in a large metropolitan area, do you have commuting limitations?
6- What is my acceptable salary range?
Use your current income as a guide. If you are looking for a pay increase, define how much you want. Some job descriptions state pay will commensurate with experience. For this reason, it’s important to know your target salary range.
7- What type of benefits do I want?
Benefits include paid time off (e.g., sick time, vacation, holidays), retirement savings (e.g., 401k, pension plan), health insurance (e.g., medical, dental, vision), etc.
Answering the above questions will help you clearly define your “right” job. Use your answers as a checklist when evaluating job opportunities. This action will keep you focused.
When networking, share answers to questions 1 through 5 in a short, succinct statement (responses to questions 6 and 7 are more for your information when evaluating opportunities). For example, you may say, “I’m looking for a [insert role] opportunity in [insert industry] with [insert company name] in [insert location].” Because you clearly defined your “right” job, when your connections ask follow-up questions regarding your job search, you’ll be prepared to answer.
Finding a new job is hard work. Remember to stay PEF (positive | enthused | focused)!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. As a Transition Consultant, she offers sage advice in all aspects of life – financial, personal and professional. Niv does not manage money and does not sell financial products. Her services include spending plan development, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”