Follow these 3 simple steps to establish your job search goals

Whether you have been laid off from work, quit because your job did not satisfy you, or are currently employed but looking to find a job at another company or in another industry, there are some simple steps that everyone must take at the beginning of their job search.  Often times, job seekers start scouring job listing sites like Monster or Career Builder before they take what is,  perhaps, the most important step: establishing a goal.  While it may seem logical that your goal is to find a job, establishing goals concerning the characteristics of your next job is crucial to focusing your search efforts, and can be done in three simple steps.

Determine your field

Even if you think you are destined to retire in your current field, you should assess whether your current or prospective industry suits you.  This includes determining if this industry is in line with:

a) Your passions and personality,

b) Your skills and strengths, and

c) Your financial goals

a) Passions and personality

Do you lose your patience quickly?  Then elementary school teacher probably isn't the job for you.  Are you naturally introverted?  Avoid sales positions.  While these suggestions seem like common sense, we all know someone whose passions and personality are in direct conflict with their current vocation, which makes succeeding in your field all the more difficult.  Take the time to search online for free personality tests.  Write out a list of things you are passionate about.  Using this information, begin to list jobs that fit the profile of your passions and personality.

b) Skills and strengths

Including on a resume that your strengths are computer skills or multitasking will not set you apart in today's job market, especially if you are on the younger side of the spectrum because you and your peers have used technology extensively for most of your life.  However, if you are bilingual or know how to code HTML, these specialized skills will make you stand out from other candidates.  Determine what your strengths are, e.g. project management or organization, and search for jobs where these qualities can be highlighted and utilized.  And while you are searching for employment, it never hurts to expand your horizons or further develop your skills with further training.  The internet abounds with opportunities for both free and paid-for skills training that you can complete while you continue to search for a job.

c) Your financial goals

While money is not the most important factor in finding a job, it is a consideration nonetheless.  If you desire to retire with a certain size nest egg or to be able to travel the world on vacations, working a minimum wage job will not help you reach these goals.  Establish financial goals, but realize that they might have to be somewhat flexible for a couple of reasons.  First, some income is better than no income.  It might be beneficial to work a job that you are over-qualified for while you continue to look for more permanent employment.  Second, your starting income at a new job is not set in stone.  If you find a field or company that you are passionate about and fits your skills, you will likely ascend more quickly and increase your salary in the process.

Next Steps

After you have determined what your goals are for your next job or career, the next step is to start searching for jobs.  There are an endless number of scams and hang-ups on the internet.  Learn how to decipher what is legitimate and what should be avoided.  Make sure you check back to Ryan Hachenberger's series on How To Find A Job on for his articles related to this process.