Be Patient and Strategic, Not Impulsive and Desperate
Heading into your job search without clear intentions is like going grocery shopping parched and famished – and, as we all know, nothing good ever comes from shopping on an empty stomach. (If you don’t know, now you know.) Instead, first construct a plan that incorporates your skills, your expectations, and your short- and long-term career goals.
Be sure to take a day or two mapping out a career plan that reflects what you’re good at and where you want to be. This is the time to be realistic about your qualifications, experience, and future. By doing so, you are less likely to make the all-too-common mistake of being a desperate, needy candidate who will take any old job that’s thrown his way. Instead, focus on finding a career that aligns with your wants and needs, both professionally and personally, and head into your job hunt with the mentality that you’re searching for a dream career, not a paycheck.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Feeding off of the whole “don’t be desperate and impulsive” thing, it’s crucial to value quality over quantity when it comes to finding a lasting and fulfilling career. Far too many candidates make the mistake of assuming that casting a wide net when applying for any and all available jobs is the way to go; however, this mentality couldn’t be more incorrect. Applying to tons of jobs blindly because you figure you’re bound to land one is reckless and a great way to wind up back in the job-hunting world before you know it. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting an employer – any employer, really – to call you back for a job interview because any job is better than no job, right? Well, not really.
Sometimes in life, beggars can’t be choosers. Of course, if you’re in a situation where you need to earn a paycheck to keep a roof over your family’s head and food in their bellies, then, by all means, go out and earn a living – there’s no shame in that whatsoever. But focus your long-term plans on building the career you want, and targeting opportunities appropriately.