“How to find career positions”

If you’re looking for a job today, you’re probably asking the question that’s on most job hunters’ minds: “So where are the jobs?” It’s the absolute wrong question–even at this tenuous economic time.
Job hunting for career positions never has been–and still isn’t–a matter of finding the jobs. It’s a matter of finding your strengths, interests and knowledge and then discovering where they fit into the marketplace.
This may seem like a small thing, but it’s colossal. For starters, when you approach your job search asking, “Where are the jobs?” you’re off on the wrong foot and headed down a mistaken path.
“Where the jobs are” covers a lot of ground. They’re in all kinds of industries–health care, government, technology, retail and education, to name a few. Some organizations within those sectors are doing better than others.
I met a man recently who heads a technology firm, whose competitors are dying. His company is flourishing. He needs people. But if you subscribe to the philosophy of “where are the jobs?” based on the perception that the technology industry isn’t doing well, you wouldn’t even consider his company.
So potentially, you miss out on opportunities because you were busy asking, “Where are the jobs?” instead of “Who has a need for my skills and background?”
Which brings me to the next problem with this “Where are the jobs?” approach: Companies aren’t looking for people who are merely looking for the jobs. They’re looking for people with the right skills and knowledge to fit a specific need. Especially during an economic time like this when hiring is down, they can be choosy. So you have to show them you’re the one to choose because you’ve got what they want.
You can’t do that if you haven’t taken the time to get very clear on your strengths, interests and knowledge so that you can tell them about all that in a clear, concise, articulate way.
Now, this is not to say that you won’t happen upon a job without getting clear on your strengths, interests and knowledge. It occurs all the time. But odds are good that if you don’t figure all that out, you’ll take what you can get rather than what’s a good fit. Which may lead to you not doing well, or a stinky attitude because you can’t stand the job. Eventually you’ll leave or the company will fire you. And you’re back in the same place you started.
Looking for the jobs that are out there is like shopping for a new house and not caring about the neighborhood or whether it fits you. You wouldn’t do that. You’d sit down and say, it needs to be a ranch style, in a good school district with two full baths and a yard.
If, however, you were simply looking for shelter, you would take what you could get. Conversely, if you are simply looking for a job to pay the bills, taking what you can get may be the way to go–temporarily. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. If you’re looking for a career position, you must change your approach in order to discover the one that’s a good match for you.
Instead of asking,”What’s out there?” you must ask, “What’s in me?” Then figure out where that fits into the marketplace.

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Talking about workin’ for a living with WGRR hosts Janeen Coyle and Chris O’Brien.