It is very common for job seekers to not have a clear target for their next position as they begin their search. Oftentimes, they will apply for a position without researching the company. Or, they will apply for a position without knowing if they are entirely qualified or even interested.
It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of job dissatisfaction when you don’t exactly know what to look for in a career.
We asked Brian Leite, President of The Greysmith Companies and VP of the Rhode Island Staffing Association, to explain his thoughts on securing a job that you will be satisfied with long term. He summed up his response by saying it is essential to know your strengths, what excites you, and what is the ideal work setup for your family or career level. Additionally, it is important to understand if this role aligns with your career path and ask yourself if the position will make you want to go to work every day and excel.
Know your strengths
Do you have a degree in computer science and have learned a lot of coding languages? Are you certified in Excel and can perform data analysis better than most people?
Put some time into getting a grasp at your strengths, and make sure that your skills align with the job descriptions of the positions you are applying for. Remember, that some of our best skills are soft skills. Do you get excited collaborating with others, networking in your community or keeping a high performing team organized?
If you see that you fit most or all the qualifications of a position, you might be on the right path in choosing a job that you will enjoy and thrive in. Not only will you feel rewarded doing something that you are good at, but you will also have a greater ability to climb within your organization.
What excites me?
Do you love helping others? Or do you prefer to be in your own space? Do you want to persuade others to take action?
Take some time to assess your personality and learn what will make you want to go into work every day. An outgoing person who wants to be a voice of a company would do better in a public relations role as opposed to a packaging job in a warehouse. However, a person who prefers to keep to themselves might thrive in a warehouse position. Are you someone who enjoys being able to “finish” your work for the day or would you prefer to be working towards long term project or revenue goals?
At Greysmith, our recruiters feel satisfied when they successfully help job seekers secure their next role that helps them to advance their career. We strive to get to know you on a personal level and find opportunities that are right for you. As you begin your search, evaluate the job openings you are considering through this lens.
Ideal working structure
Do you have young children that need parental support throughout the day? Does your house not have a space where you can work productively? Do you want the freedom of traveling for work ? Would non-conventional work hours fit better with your priorities.
Think of the type of working environment you need to support your current lifestyle. Nowadays, it is common to be able to filter out your job search by in-person, hybrid, and fully remote roles. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that employees can successfully work in any of these environments if the motivation and set up are correct.
Additionally, think about what timeframe works best for your schedule. A lot of people find comfort working Monday to Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. However, a parent might need to work 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM to allow time to pick up their child from school.
Keep in mind that not every job will be accommodating to flexible working schedules. Generally, the schedule would be found in the job description, so make sure you check before applying!
Aligning with career path
It is extremely important to find a job that aligns with your desired career path. A good way to check this is by looking at the transferrable skills in the job description. Even if the job isn’t directly what you want to do, it might give you experience in something that will help further your career.
For instance, a job seeker looking to one day be VP of marketing at a company might start off in a sales job. Through this, they will learn transferrable skills such as best communication practices and how to write persuasive material to attract potential clients.
It is important to minimize detours and short-term positions for a successful career. Take the time to think about the long-term career moves you envision for yourself. Will this new role support that path? There is a reason why the interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” will always be a part of the process.
Will this job motivate me?
If you are working full time, having a job that doesn’t excite you will get draining quickly. Working roughly 40 hours is time consuming mentally and physically. However, in many roles, 40 hours of work is not enough time to get your job done. Finding a role where you could work 40-45 hours per week without dreading it is keenly important. The sky is the limit if the position is exciting to you, if you have embraced the company mission, and if you enjoy working with your teammates.
In addition, having a job that coincides with your strengths, excites you, revolves around your ideal work setup, and aligns with your career path is an indicator that it will motivate you to put your best effort in.
Career Personality Tests
Are you still having trouble deciding what jobs you are interested in? Consider taking a career profiler test. Personality tests categorize your personality into 16 types, all of which have different strengths and weaknesses for specific careers.
They generally ask you multiple choice questions about who you are, what you like, how you react to different scenarios, etc. You can start today by taking this quiz by Truity.com, which can help guide you to your destined career path.
Preparing for Tricky Interviews Questions
Bonus tip: prepare for difficult questions during your interview process.
Interviewers oftentimes ask tricky questions to access applicants’ critical thinking skills, cultural fit, and overall qualifications for the position. Most of the time, the interviewer will understand that the interviewee might not have a perfect answer right away when given a difficult question. However, conditioning yourself to tackle the unexpected is a great way to stand out from the crowd.
There are some ways you can stay sharp and be ready for any curveball thrown your way. One simple solution is to ask for a minute to think of an answer.
To do this, say something along the lines of, “Do you mind giving me a brief moment to think of an answer to this question?”
This will help you stay calm and be able to have some time to think of a great answer. It also shows you are actively thinking of the best answer and blurting out an answer to part of the question. The interviewer knows what it’s like to be put on the spot, so most of the time they will have no problem with you taking a minute to think.
Another easy method to be able to answer difficult interview questions is to really understand your resume beforehand and think about how your skills and passions align with the job. It is also smart to think about how the job will help you with your career goals. With these topics thoroughly thought out, you’ll know how to respond to personal questions that require a lot of thought. Some examples of these include “If you were an animal, what would you be and why?” and the classic “Tell me about yourself.”
In an interview, you can also answer a question with a question, according to this article by firsthand.co. If it seemed vague, you could ask for more specification. For instance, if you were asked “What is your greatest strength?”, you could reply with “Strength in soft skills (personality traits that show the type of teammate you are) or hard skills (technical skills)?” This will give you more time to respond and help give an answer the interviewer is most looking for.
It is easy to get lost finding the right career path, but you can figure it out by investing time upfront in your plan. To be successful and efficient in your job search you should have a plan. Don’t forget to prepare for your upcoming interview, and especially make sure you are conditioned to handle any questions that come your way.
If you need guidance finding a job that will help align you with your career path, consider working with a staffing agency like The Greysmith Companies. We work with you every step of the way to help you land a job that fits best for you. What’s great about our services is that it is completely free and absolutely no charge to our job seekers. Our organization has a 30+ year reputation in this market and we work across industry lines and with many top tier organizations. We have the experience to help you compare positions and prepare you for the hiring process.
If you are ready to take a leap and need help getting your dream job, just know that Greysmith is always here to help, free of charge. Submit your resume to us online today to get started.