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10 Steps To A Great Career - Step 2 of 10


Step 2 of 10: 

Why Are You Looking?

Get ready with some pen and paper!  Or better yet, type this up on your computer so you can actually read it later.


  • Make a List. 

Does this sound familiar? (Make sure you've read Step #1)

It may seem so obvious to you.  But is it really?  Spend some time thinking of at least 3 solid reasons of why you're looking. 

Do you have more?  5, 10, 25, excellent!  The more the better.  You'll even be that much clearer in what it is you want.

Okay, so #1 is you need a job because you were laid off.  That’s obvious.  But dig beyond the obvious.  Before being laid off, before even thinking about being laid off, what were reasons that you would have sought out a Career change.  That’s where you begin!

You weren't laid off.  You're still employed.  Great!  You have an advantage!

  • Brainstorm (Again)

Use some of the criteria you came up with in Step #1 to help start your brainstorming session.  The criteria and your reasons will not always be the same.  The point of this exercise is to further clarify all the things you want (and don't want) in a new Career.  I'd like for you to dig deep to reveal all your motivations.

TIP:   Remember, you may not get everything you want in this next Career move, mainly because of market conditions, but you need to know what it is you want in order to grow Professionally. This information is useful for now or for future opportunities.

For Example:  You love(d) the company you are(were) working for, but you don’t care for your direct Manager.  There’re plenty of promotional opportunities in this company, but it’s family owned and the direct Manager you don’t like, doesn’t like you either.  Oh, and they are the owner’s son.  Get the idea. 

In this example, writing the reason down will help you identify potential personality conflicts in your next opportunity.  Okay, it’s not guaranteed, but it’ll make you more aware than if you had not jotted it down.

Use the same Sample Spreadsheet as in Step #1 to keep track of everything. 

  • Now It’s Time To Edit

Start separating Nice To Have from Must Have Reasons.  Remember, reasons are different than criteria.

INSIGHT: Did you know... when you're working with a Great Recruiting Partner, they should be asking you questions to get these criteria and reasons from you.

If you're conducting your own Career Search, this process is very helpful to you. If you're conducting your Career Search with a Recruiting Partner, test to see if they're considering your desires in the process. If they're not, beware. If they are, go ahead and help them help you further by sharing your list with them. The more insight they have on you, will only prove more helpful to both of you.

How does your list look so far?  Are you getting a clearer direction?  Just by going through this exercise, you should be far ahead of where you would have been had you not taken this time to be clear.  You would have also been that much more likely to make some of the same mistakes you've made in the past.

Worse case.  You have to jump on the very next opportunity you stumble upon because of financial reasons.  At least you're clear from the beginning this is not where you want to be. 

You should keep this list as now you're employed and have a little more leverage. 

Be prepared for the long haul.  We don't know how long these market conditions will last.  And, you don't want to be seen as a job hopper.  The bottom line still is:  You will have much more control knowing what it is you want and where you want to go.

Now you’re ready for Step #3 Recruiter, Solo, or Combo!


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