Taking A Project Phased Approach To Job Search

You have decided that it is time to move on and move up in your career.

In the ideal world this would be very straightforward.

In the real world this is rarely the case.

What tends to happen is that people are unstructured or unfocused in their approach to job search.

One alternative is to break down your job search into a series of phases in the same way you would for a project.

So what are the different phases and what should be your focus?

Clarification Phase

In my experience this is a phase that many skip over or perhaps don’t even realise that this phase should even exist.

When in the clarification stage you should be focusing on:

  • What you really want from your next job.
  • The type of organisation you want to work in.
  • The type of people you want to be working with.
  • The type of organisational goals you want to contribute to achieving.

Insight Phase

You know that you will be asked about your strengths and weaknesses.

You know you will be asked about achievements.

You know you will be have demonstrate what you have to offer.

The only way to have any chance of doing this well is to spend time getting insight.

This might mean getting feedback, doing some self assessment and self reflection.

Search Phase

In this phase you are considering the different approaches you are going to adopt to finding suitable roles.

Job sites are the thing that springs to mind for most and for a lot of people the only approach they utilise.

You might think about utilising your professional network, contacting past colleagues, contacting past managers, speaking to friends, going to events, direct approaches to name just a few.

Marketing Phase

You might be surprised by the term marketing in terms of finding your next job.

But you have to realise that this is essentially doing.  Marketing you with the intention of being invited for an interview.

Your CV or resume is what most think of as marketing.

And of course this is important.

These days there is a lot more that you can do as part of the marketing phase.  This includes things like.

  • Creating a good profile on LinkedIn profile
  • Being active on relevant groups in your professional field on LinkedIn
  • Attending relevant conferences or events and tweeting about some of the learnings or to build your network
  • Sharing others content with others in your network. This could be a video, an article or blog post.

There is no shortage of options.

Selling Phase

Most think of this as the job interview.

While this is a significant part of this phase, you can only ever expect to sell yourself effectively if you are really well prepared.

You need to spend time:

  • Researching the organisation
  • Researching the sector
  • Identifying questions
  • Coming up with answers to questions
  • Practicing answering questions.

It’s funny how much easier interviews appear to be when you are well prepared.

In truth job search is a major commitment on your part.  Breaking it down into smaller phases and steps means that you are much more likely to stay on track and get the result that you want.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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