How To Find Out What Job You Would Be Good At – Summary. In order to land a job you’ll truly enjoy, you need to know where you’re applying and why. Use this framework to structure your research. Evaluate: What is most important and most important to you in your next role? Consider your past jobs and internships as you consider this question. Consider six factors: environment (what culture do you thrive in?), role (what kind of career growth are you looking for?), compensation (what is your ideal category?), skill acquisition (do you want to specialize in a particular area? ? ), career description (how does your resume stack up to your position?), horizons (what are some next steps?). Get engaged: Start reaching out to people in your network. Discussions are a natural part of the job hunting process, but you’ll want to divide the people you engage with into two categories: thought partners, or people who can weigh in on your ideas and path forward, and opportunity sources (people in your network who can tell you about open opportunities). can help identify). Execute: Work with your contacts to identify some opportunities that are right for you and the next stage of your career. Take another look at your evaluation criteria and determine how your job prospects stack up against each other. This should give you an idea of what to prioritize and implement.
The coronavirus is accelerating career transitions across the board, with 4.5 million Americans leaving their jobs in November, reaching a record high. For some of us, mass layoffs and furloughs brought about this change. For others, the pandemic-induced isolation revealed a misalignment between our work and our values.
How To Find Out What Job You Would Be Good At
Some people find job hunting exciting. In fact, most of us would agree that it is a painful and emotionally draining process. As a result, early career job seekers tend to fall into two broad categories: avoiders or gatherers.
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Overwhelmed by feelings of fear or confusion, avoiders often shut down completely: “I don’t know where to start so I won’t do anything.” Hoarders, on the other hand, respond to those same feelings with feverish action: “I have no idea what I want to do so I’m casting a wide net,” or, “I hate my current job, so I’ll apply for everything.”
No mindset will lead you to a successful outcome. In the case of avoiders, laziness does not result in job offers. For collectors, a lack of clear direction leaves you wandering in many directions.
In order to land a job you’ll truly enjoy, you need to know where you’re applying and why. As part of my own process, I’ve created what I call a career and personal manifesto, a framework to provide structure for any job search. You can also use
A successful job search is easy. You just need to find job opportunities that match your needs and goals. Figuring out what those needs and goals are is the hard part.
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To begin, spend time with yourself and assess possible next steps. Consider the following six categories, each of which includes a series of questions that will help you discover the elements that are most important and most important to you in your next role.
As you answer these questions, think about your past and current jobs or internships and what aspects of each role you most enjoyed (or really disliked).
Next, use your answers to these questions to fill out the Job Search Priorities Matrix. This will help you figure out which roles to prioritize as you move forward in your search.
For example, if compensation is the most important factor for you when looking for a new role, it should be the furthest part on the matrix. To illustrate how to use this tool, I have provided an example of a matrix that has been filled and sorted below. This matrix is for a junior consultant who is hypothetically interested in getting a job in the tech industry and who values skill acquisition and work environment more.
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After working through the questions and filling out the matrix, you should have a good idea of what you want to do next. Now, it’s time to take action and reach out to people in your network. Discussions are a natural part of the job-hunting process, but you want to divide the people you engage with into two categories:
When seeking outside advice, beware of what I call “advice of convenience”, taking advice from people because they are in your orbit (an easy trap to fall into). Instead, try to step out of your comfort zone.
The best people to reach out to for advice are people you a) admire, b) have demonstrated the skills and personal attributes you want to achieve, or c) are doing what you want to do (or think you do). After all, who better to show you the way to where you want to go than someone who already is?
Surprisingly, people of all heights are approachable and happy to offer career advice. You can use various channels to reach professionals. The most tried and true is LinkedIn, where many professionals have accounts. If you use this channel, include a personalized invitation to connect, explaining your objective to increase the likelihood of a response.
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Sticking with the above example of a junior consultant interested in breaking into the tech industry, here’s a LinkedIn message they can send to a hiring manager at a company they’re interested in:
Hi Ben: I am a second year consultant for case work which involves working with an education agency. I’m looking to transition into EdTech startups and Handshake piqued my interest. Would you be willing to spend some time talking with me about roles that match my skill set and interests? Appreciate any time you can give and hope to hear from you soon.
Industries such as technology, media and fashion also heavily benefit from social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. If the person you’re interested in connecting with has a public account, you can send them a public tweet, comment on one of their posts, send a private direct message depending on your comfort level. A cold email — like the LinkedIn message above — is another option to consider. (Several years ago, I sent an Instagram direct message to a woman leading a UK fashion and luxury retail practice asking to meet up while I was in London – we did and we’re still in touch!)
Individuals with whom you have an affinity will have higher response rates. These could be high school or college alumni or people with whom you share sports, hometown/home state, cultural, gender, Greek life, or professional fraternities.
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Once the meeting time is set, be sure to send a calendar invitation with all the appropriate details to the person you’re connecting with. You want to make it as easy as possible for them.
At this point, work with the contacts you made in the step above to identify some opportunities that are right for you and the next stage of your career. Take another look at your evaluation criteria and determine how your job prospects stack up against each other.
This is where the opportunity prioritization matrix comes in. Use it to organize the opportunities you find and prioritize which ones you actually want to implement. This will save you a lot of time and energy in your search.
Refer back to the job prioritization matrix. Which two categories do you rate as most important to you? Place these two axes and evaluate your opportunities to see if they rank high or low (meet or don’t meet) those priorities.
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Using our original example of a junior consultant interested in moving into the technology industry, we know that this job candidate is interested in mission-driven companies and has indicated in his job prioritization matrix that maintaining a common skill set and a dynamic, collaborative environment are two of the top priorities for his next job. There are important factors.
Below is an example of how they would fill out the Opportunity Prioritization Matrix if they were considering the following roles at various companies.
Above, you can see that the focus here is on job opportunities that provide general skills development (eg strategy, partnerships and sales, operations) and a collaborative team environment. Job opportunities with specialized skill sets and less collaborative environments are in the Distraction quadrant. Since social mission is also important to this candidate, you’ll find that mission-driven companies have a higher environmental fit. Similar positions in non-mission-driven companies are less environmentally appropriate.
All companies and positions have trade-offs so structuring your matrix this way allows you to stay laser focused on just the two most important factors when evaluating opportunities.
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Even for seasoned professionals, multiple career paths and available job opportunities are a constant feature of the job search process. By using a structured framework like this to focus your efforts, you’ll end up
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