Stop Applying for Jobs You Don’t Really Want
“I’ve been applying for jobs and I’m not getting anywhere!”
Let’s face it. It’s tough looking for a job when you have a job, right? There could be many obstacles standing in the way, like time. Managing your time, however is something you have control over.
A bigger obstacle is that some job seekers are wanting to change careers, but they’re confused about what they want to do next. When we speak, they’re often frustrated because they’ve been sending out tons of resumes and have heard nothing but crickets.
When I ask what roles they’ve been applying for they will usually say something like, “what I’m doing now, but somewhere else”.
And I’m surprised that they’re surprised that they’re feeling frustrated! They’re wanting something different, yet they’re applying for the same roles.
I get it. Sometimes we want to get out of a bad situation sooner than later and move towards what feels comfortable and in line with our skills and experience, but not necessarily what we truly want.
When you’re unclear about what you want, sending out resumes blindly and hoping something sticks is a complete waste of time and energy. It’s like trying to hit the bullseye blindfolded.
No bullseye, no progress.
Are you clear on what you’re looking for? Can you see the bullseye?
If you answered no, read on. I’ve got a few tips on how to get clarity and move forward with more confidence while on your job search.
Take a Bird’s Eye of View of Your Work Life
It often requires taking a bird’s eye view of what’s going on right now. Do some reflection about what’s working in your career and what’s not working. Grab a peice of paper, split it down the middle and label one side, “What’s working” and the other side, “what’s not working”.
And deeply think about why you want to leave your job? Is it because you don’t get along with your boss? Is your job too stressful everyday? Are you not connected to the mission of the company?
What are you really running away from and what are you running towards?
Envision Your Ideal Work Scenario
Ask the left brain sit back while we do this right brain activity. Over the course of the next 7 days visualize the type of job that would really light you up. Go 5 years into the future first and then do the same envisioning 1 year from now.
- Where do you see yourself (city, town, another country)?
- Who do you see yourself being (manager, VP, entrepreneur)?
- What impact do you want to be making in your work, team, company, world?
- What are the favorite skills that you want to be leading with (we all have skills, but what are the ones you love to use)?
- What are your salary requirements?
- What kind of benefits do you want/need?
- What does your work schedule look like (flexible, PT, FT)?
- Do you want to work for a big/medium/small sized company?
- What kind of career track do you want (fast growth, work on various teams, etc)?
- Are you working for a service company vs a product company?
If you’re having trouble, you can always start off by making a list with what you DON’T want, thinking about all of the things that you currently don’t like about your work situation and all of your past jobs, too. Once you have your lists of don’t wants, this informs what you do want!
List your “Nice to Haves”
Your nice to haves list is just that. These won’t be deal breakers if one of your dream companys don’t offer them, however, I’m a huge proponent of “putting it all out there” so, you might as well call it out for the Universe and Law of Attract that!
- What kind of company culture do you prefer? (casual vs. skirts, blazers and heels vs trendy)
- What kind of employee perks do you like (around the clock food options, unlimited vacation)
- What kind of growth and learning opportunities do they offer (attend conferences, tuition reimbursement, leadership training).
Capture Your Career Ideas
You should have some clarity by now, which is a great time to start creating a list of ideal career, job titles, teams, CEO’s and companies you’d like to join based upon what you want and what you envision for your future .
Dive deeper and research companies, job roles, maybe even find some volunteer opportunities or classes you might need to fill in some skills or experience gaps based on what you found out.
Look around on Linkedin using some of the skills you want to be leading with or for job titles that are in alignment with your skillset or ideal organizations.
Now it is time to research and refine. Once you have a few targets, start to get your personal marketing channels ready.
Update Your Personal and Professional Marketing Channels
It’s time to update your social media channels. Yes, even your personal Instagram headline and Facebook profiles. Update it for the position that you are aiming to get. Professional recruiters, HR managers, hiring manager and future employers will most certainly look!
If you need help, hire a professional resume/cover letter and Linkedin specialist to get it done quicker. Find one that will get on the phone with you and walk you through it together.
Now that all loose ends are tied up, find out who the hiring manager is on Linkedin and send it out and get prepped for your interviews.
Get out there and network
Don’t get bogged down behind the screens. I tell job searchers that applying online should take up 20% of their time!
Is one of your dream companies having an upcoming event? Do you know someone who works there?
Getting a personal referral by a current or previous employee or from a respected social connection on Linkedin is a great way to get your foot in the door and bypass any AI.
Networking can be done anywhere really (nail salon, traveling abroad, running team), so just get out there and share with anyone who’s willing to hear you what you’re looking to do.
You never know who knows who and I have seen it happen more through personal referrals than any other way in my years of career coaching.
When you have a clear target applying for jobs is going to make your life so much easier, you will get better results and be able to see and hit the bullseye.
If you need help with finding career clarity, book a free Exploratory call with Kori and let’s figure this out together.
Kori Burkholder, Certified Professional Career Strategist Coach
Kori Burkholder is a Career Success Coach helping early to mid career professionals who’ve awoken to the reality that they want more purpose driven, fulfilling, flexible careers, but are unclear on how to bring it into a reality. She takes clients through her groundbreaking, transformational Career Clarity system that helps transform confusion into a clear vision with a solid plan to bridge the gap. Kori’s work is centered around using creativity as a pathway to turn career, business and life dreams into reality. Kori’s coaching and creative workshop facilitation provides tools, ideas, and resources to support individuals and organizations to become their happiest and best selves.
Sync up with Kori on Social