Job searching is hard work. It's a full-time commitment on top of all the others you may have. To do it successfully requires focus and effort. One component of that work centers around honest self-assessment. This is the phase of the job search that comes after acceptance. That phase focused on you coming to terms with being on an active job search. It's at the assessment level where you'll begin to do the work.
The pieces of personal self-assessment are:
- Skills and Experience
- Job Preferences
In this article, we are going to think about your purpose. Purpose is an expression of your fundamental values. Your knowledge and experience are easy to inventory. Your job preferences will emerge from a clear understanding of your purpose.
When it comes to finding a job, what does having a purpose mean? A purpose can be singular ("I love to design furniture") or a mosaic of things that can change throughout your life. Time and circumstances can impact your purpose.
Understanding your purpose is a form of power. For example, it gives you the ability to say "no" to companies or roles that you don't believe are right for you. It can help you focus. Specifically, by defining where to put your time, energy, and resources. It also shows others--companies, hiring managers, etc.--what's important to you. In other words, how do you fit into the world you want to work in?
You should re-examine your purpose over the course of your career.
Let's break down how to refine your purpose into action steps.
First, look over the seventy-seven values listed below. Read and understand their meaning. Also, think about the connections that some of them may have with each other. Next, choose about 10-15 values that are important to you. Write them down. Take as much time as you need to write a sentence or two about each of them. Afterwards, rank them in order of importance.
Your rank ordered list of values gives you a sketch of your purpose. Write a very short statement of purpose. Think about your values. Think about the difference you want to make.
This sounds simple but it's rarely easy. Here are a few examples:
Making a Community Contribution
Prioritizing Home and Family
Finding Career Success
Enjoying Creative Expression
Achieving Life Balance
Protecting the Environment
Raising Successful Children
Living with Joy
Leaving a Legacy
Making Others Happy
The point of this exercise is to take some serious time to think about what's important to you and how you want to spend your time.
You'll want to revisit this on a regular basis. Keep a journal to record and review this self-assessment work. It's an important component of a structured job-searching strategy.
Everyone has different purposes when it comes to work. Even the words used to describe them can be the same, yet people may interpret them differently. Performing regular self-assessment checks helps you to be clear with your purpose. It gives you a measure of power in your job search, reduces distractions, and signals your professional standards to those around you. Make self-assessment of your purpose a part of your overall job search schedule.
Read on for more ways to make your job search a success: Before You Look to Indeed, Look at Your Values
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