Setting Your Direction
|Writing your resume is not the first step in your job search. You will find out in the next chapter that your resume is your sales brochure or your ad and that the purpose of your resume is to get a phone call from a potential employer.|
|So why wouldn’t we want to start there? After all, isn’t our purpose to sell ourselves and don’t we need a resume to do that?|
Yes, you have to sell yourself but your resume, like any ad, has to be written within the framework of an overall strategy or marketing plan.
In most cases each of us has to lean back and take stock of who we are and where we are going.
At a minimum we need to consider our career direction, our strengths and our accomplishments so that we can sell ourselves properly. But most of us have not looked at where we are and where we are going for a long time. Now is the time to do that and insure that we set the right course – that we are headed the right direction.
What we are seeking to do is far more than getting a job and a regular paycheck. We need to find a position that fits our skills so we can do the job successfully. We need to find a job that taps into our strengths and interests, one that motivates us to do our best, one that moves us along in the career that is best for us.
This job will be located at the intersection of what you can do and what you want to do. We call this area your Motivation Zone.
The goals of a company cannot be identical to your goals. But they can mesh with your goals. Just as the fingers of your right hand can mesh with the fingers of your left hand, your goals can mesh with the goals of the right career position.
This is the kind of fit you are looking for in your next position.
The goals of a company cannot be identical to your goals. But they can mesh with your goals. Just as the fingers of your right hand can mesh with the fingers of your left hand, your goals can mesh with the goals of the right career position. This is the kind of fit you are looking for in your next position.
Your Motivation Zone
Below is a diagram of how your interests and skills, while not being identical, do overlap. The focus of this chapter is to help you to find the overlapping area and identify your motivation zone.
Your Motivation zone includes those tasks which “Interest” you and which you have the necessary “Skill” to perform.
But there probably are not job/careers available for the entire area of your Motivation Zone. You must focus on those jobs that do exist and are available.
Jobs in your Targeted Area will be the jobs that motivate you and are available.
Don’t be tempted to pursue a position that is outside this area. Many people later regret having taken a job because it pays more or for some other reason. If it does not fall inside your Motivation Zone you cannot expect it to be very satisfying.
There are several exercises in this chapter to help you determine the boundaries of your Motivation Zone. This information will help in setting the direction for your search, writing your resume, networking, interviewing and evaluating job offers.
The links will open an MS Word file in a new window. In some cases there are lines that will not be visible until you print the document.
Exercise 1 helps you discover perhaps long forgotten interests and motivations.
Exercise 2 helps you to recall what you liked and disliked about recent jobs. This gives you direction for setting requirements for your next job, things you want as well as things you may want to avoid.
Exercise 3 helps you to identify additional motivated skills that you have applied on the job in the past. This exercise will also be the start of the framework for developing the accomplishments you will put in your resume. It will also better focus on the motivated skills you want to use in your next job.
Exercise 4 is a loose structure to bring all this information together in a useable framework. If you have information from other assessment exercises, bring it to the table as you work on this exercise.
By the time you have completed all the exercises you will have a good sense of the direction your job search should take.
You will also have a valuable checklist, from the fourth exercise, to help you analyze a job offer. Too often, when an offer is received, little analysis of the offer is made. Too often there are many pressures and emotions making analysis difficult – however, the framework you construct in the fourth exercise will be a valuable tool to effectively evaluate offers when they come.