What Does It Take to Get a Job Today? Resume Writer Shares 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Coaching Job Seekers
What does it take to get a job today? This simple question has many answers.…
You’ve recently launched your job search campaign and face a challenge: you’re overflowing with ideas and options to explore. To name a few, you’ve identified that you want to conduct networking interviews with other professionals, expand your skillset by taking an online course, and increase your LinkedIn activity.
Despite these intentions and your initial efforts to pursue them, you’re struggling to get specific about the type of role or company you plan to target. You’re committed to advancing your career, but you’re starting to feel frustrated about the disconnect between your intentions and lack of tangible progress.
How can you narrow the focus to get your job search campaign on track?
A simple tool might help you define and meet your goals.
Almost anyone with a goal could benefit from writing SMART goals. A SMART goal is a tool that helps individuals or teams be accountable for reaching their stated intentions by ensuring that the goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
SMART goals can be particularly useful for planning and beginning a job search campaign. For instance, “Land a new job making more money than I’m making now” is not a clear goal. In fact, you may choose to set several SMART goals throughout your job search campaign.
Below are questions you can ask to set your SMART goals.
While the focus of this article is on job seekers, SMART goals are relevant for professionals in all stages of their career. Below are examples of how people in different circumstances can use SMART goals:
Because these are written goals, you can print the goal and hang it in a high-traffic area, such as on a wall near your desk or on the bathroom mirror. Doing so is a visible reminder and motivator.
Example #1: I will identify my next job target within three months by having three informational interviews per week, spending two hours per week researching companies, and using LinkedIn three times per week to network and meet more people in fields that interest me. My interpersonal and organizational skills enable me to execute these steps, and I know I’ll be successful when I have a list of 20 potential companies and several related job titles that align with my skillset and education.
Example #2: I will apply for at least four jobs per week on weekends and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. To accomplish this, I will ensure I manage my time wisely so I’m not too tired to dedicate time to my job search campaign after work.
Example #3: I will improve my leadership skills within six months by enrolling in a leadership course through Coursera this month, volunteering to lead the next project at work instead of being an individual contributor, and reading at least four books on leadership.
By writing SMART goals—ones that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely—you’ll not only set yourself up for success in your job search, but you’ll also have a versatile tool that can be used for future career-related goals.