Setting Realistic Job Search Goals
By Elijah Thomas
Especially if you haven’t searched for a new role for a while, the process of finding your dream job can seem downright daunting.
On the other hand, if you’ve had success in the past landing new opportunities, you may enter your search feeling confident.
The key to a successful job search is finding a strong balance of confidence in your skills and determination to outwork your competition. The typical job announcement fields hundreds of applications, underscoring the importance of putting your best foot forward in your job search.
But how do you get started on building a job search plan? What types of questions should you be asking yourself and who can you get to help you?
Read on for tips on setting realistic job search goals, and remember that a plan is just a plan until you put it into action.
The average amount of time it takes to find a job is about nine weeks due to the process of sending out applications, scheduling interviews and waiting for a call back, according to the job search board Indeed.
There may also be external circumstances at play, including the economy and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It can take time to find the ideal company, group of experts and industry you want to join for your career. However, taking steps with small achievable goals can make progress more rewarding, rather than becoming discouraged when things don’t go your way.
Set Your Goals
It’s difficult to measure success if you don’t have specific goals in mind. Rather than declaring that you desire a new career path, go into detail with the path you want to take. Look at job boards to understand the employment landscape.
Once you have a handle on what’s out there, set some timeline and salary goals. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your plan:
- How much do you want to earn in your next role?
- Where is the ideal location?
- What industry would you like to be in?
- When would you like to have your next role finalized and official?
- Do you need benefits and retirement?
When deciding which type of job is right for you, consider factors like salary, benefits, the responsibilities and if it would be a rewarding path for you.
Review Your Goals
Once your plan is in motion, revert back to your goals from time to time to make sure you stay on track. Hang your goals somewhere in your office or keep them near your daily planner so you can be reminded of what you’re working toward.
Block some time on your calendar and set quarterly meetings with yourself to review what you’ve achieved. Treat your career like it’s a project for your job with real deadlines and built-in updates, and you’ll be surprised by how organized and efficient you feel.
Build in an accountability partner for extra effectiveness. Find someone in your family or friend group who is also looking to improve their career prospects, and team up with them to move your goals forward.
Sometimes, having that partner to push you toward your objectives can make the difference between you giving up and staying persistent.